Kaz Hawkins (featuring Sam York) – ‘Don’t You Know’ (Self-Released) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by The Dark Queen   
Wednesday, 19 July 2017 05:00

Kaz Hawkins Dont You KnowIn life we all have hard times and good times. We all have a lot of shit to swallow (especially us working class folks). Kaz Hawkins has used her pure talent and exceptional voice to tell her story through her music. She opens up her heart and soul to help and inspire. Her powerful performance pulls at every emotion one person can hold and she has opened up for a fantastic reason, charity. Her new album, ‘Don’t You Know’ is a piano and vocal album released for mental health awareness. This is Kaz’s story through darkness and light, it full of true emotion, tears and hope.


‘Nedrum’ opens this story and you can hear her spirit has she tells everyone to “keep it in your sights for you know that I’ll meet you there”. ‘Don’t Slip Away’ is the charity single and is full of encouragement telling the listener that although you are fighting for your life people believe in you and are always there for you. Kaz’s daughter, Avril, sings a line from the next song, ‘Because You Love Me’, over a café background noise. The song itself is powerful and heart breaking advice for someone who needs to move on without a someone special. The raw emotion in Kaz’s voice actually brings tears to our eyes.


The first play of ‘Don’t You Know’ is spoken word and cold - painful and cold - but hard hitting and true to people who let you don’t just when you need them. ‘Surviving’ is chilling and beautiful, as Kaz tells us how hurtful love can be and how we can truly survive after all the darkness leaves - and how it’s the coward who leaves because they can’t fight the fight: the strong one holds their head high with dignity.



‘Better Days’ brings the hope back into the life story, and highlights the strength that we all have inside us. As someone who has been through so much shit in life and survived, these two songs back to back hit me in how much I have fought back against life - just like Kaz and so many other people. This upbeat song makes me want to dance around the living room with a wee glass of vino.


‘Alabama Love’ is a funny wee conversation with Kaz’s infectious laugh in the background before it slides smoothly into a five-year journey looking for the “river that sings”: with burns on her feet she finds it.  ‘Lipstick And Cocaine’ tells the story of battling back from addiction - which most people with mental health battles, including myself, will identify this. The part her mum talking to her is so powerul and heart breaking, as you can actually visualise the tears running down her cheek as she sings these words.


‘Hallelujah Happy People’ is her reward after winning one more fight. It bounces right out of the speakers and fills your soul with happiness. People who have overcome darkness can truly shine… as Kaz says:  “cause we gonna show ya how it’s done”.  The reprised, full version of ‘Don’t You Know’ is powerful and emotional and you can hear Kaz is fighting back to find herself: Amy, Kaz’s other daughter, and her have a wee bit of fun, while Amy astounds us by a wee bit of joyful, joyful.



‘My Daughter, My Reflection’ is a beautiful blend of Amy and Kaz’s voices with a mellow guitar and soft drums (the only time instruments other than piano and voice are used on the album). It is easy to learn that Kaz’s life has completely transformed and you can hear the happiness she has in her life now. The fun is transparent between the life she has and what she has now, as Amy finishes the song off with a wryful “But seriously, mum can you not give me a wee song I can put on the internet so I can get a couple of quid?”


Listening to this album, I found it hard to remember that this is Kaz’s story, ‘cause it feels at times that she has reached into my soul and read my feelings. This album is full of passion, hurt, frustration, love and hope for the future, all done in the only way Kaz Hawkins can through her amazing powerful voice.


‘Don’t You Know’ is released on Saturday (22 July).


Kaz, with Sam York on piano, plays the following dates in support of the album release:

Thursday (20 July) – Castlerock, Crusoes (SOLD OUT)

Friday (21 July) – Dundalk, Spirit Store

Saturday (22 July) – Belfast, St Anne’s Cathedral

Friday 4 August – Belfast, Park Avenue Hotel




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