Since the release of their sophomore album ‘Levelling’ in 2021, alt-rockers HAVVK have returned to Ireland after sojourns in Berlin and London, developing their sound even further, transitioning seamlessly between hypnotic shoegaze to blistering punk grunge.

Fronted by the talented Julie Hawk, who impresses on both bass and vocals, and joined by Matthew Harris on guitar and former Bitch Falcon drummer Nigel Kenny, the dynamic trio deliver a sonic palette that explores some deep and dark territories. Last year, we received our first sample from their electrifying new album, ‘To Fall Asleep’, with the scorching single (and album opener) Daylight Robbery. This dynamically charged release set high expectations for an album, which it certainly meets with distinction.

HAVVK have long been known for their powerful live performances, and a key strength of ‘To Fall Asleep’ is the palpable kinetic energy that courses throughout, particularly on tracks like Expiry, White Noise, and City Creep. The latter a potent commentary on the housing crisis and its effects on the nation’s cultural framework.

While the heavier tracks make a strong impact, it’s the more esoteric tracks that truly shine. You Say You Won’t is a particularly powerful standout, a song which the band state is “about how easy it is to apologise, but how hard it is to actually change your habits. The lyrics are about now knowing where to turn when those words have lost all meaning, when you know that you have truly hurt or disappointed somebody”.

Another hightlight, Keep It to Myself is a vivacious torch song with Hawk at her heart-breaking finest, whilst Nobody Told You is a perfect album closer, an all-enveloping indie-downer anthem overflowing with a sense of foreboding, perfectly soundtracked by Harris’ exquisitely fragile guitar.

With ‘To Fall Asleep’ HAVVK continue to evolve and impress, delivering an emotionally compelling, magnetic album with an ambitiously epic soundscape.