The former Pulp guitarist’s third LP, Coles Corner, lost U.K.’s Mercury Prize last year to the Arctic Monkeys’ Whatever People Say I Am…, prompting the Monkeys’ frontman to quip, ”Hawley’s been robbed!” Lady’s Bridge, his understated follow-up, could very well be his ticket to ride in ’07. Richard Hawley, who boasts the crooner sensibilities of Roy Orbison, strikes a lovely balance between moody orchestration and rockabilly stylings, his slide guitar slipping in and out of odes to love and loss. Haunting yet hopeful, Bridge crosses the gap from great to instant classic. A
DOWNLOAD THIS: Hear ”Lady Solitude” as part of the Lady’s Bridge full album stream at artistdirect.com.