We expect a lot from music, at times. Songs can lift moods, express sympathies, or calm fiery tempers. One my first listen to Gregory and the Hawk, I'd just come home from work and was in a foul mood. (I work with children, enough said really.) The aim was to distract myself rather than get rid of my current agitated mental state. However, I'm please to report that Gregory and The Hawk did exactly that. Despite my complete unfamiliarity with it, Moenie and Kitchi managed to turn my frown right upside down, courtesy of haunting vocals, humble but powerful melodies, and exuding the general feeling you get when you let out a big sigh. Aaaaahhh...Album opener ‘Oats We Sow' is a pleasant, quaint number, that's melancholic and yet rather cheerful at the same time. The child like vocals from singer Meredith are gentle and delicate, augmented by a complex rhythm section.‘Doubtful' shuffles along nicely, sounding like a Fionn Regan track but with a more charming vocalist and with hints of Regina Spektor. If this album had been made before the film ‘Juno' was released, I imagine Kimya Dawson would've been out the door to make way for these guys. Catchy, but not over-whelming or obvious, these songs make you want to lie back and just listen whilst your troubles ooze away.‘Wild West' begins as another acoustic guitar and vocals led track, and then builds into almost an anthem, with piano riffs, crashing cymbals and trembling strings. The track that follows, ‘Stonewall, Stone Fence' has a more menacing feel than the rest of the album, with vocals that have a strong warning tone in them, before it descends into an percussion heavy almost industrial sounding instrumental. It seems this is a turning point in the album, marking a shift in direction and mood. Now they've got you all relaxed and in a happy place, they've upped the ante, providing songs that require a little more thought and concentration, and a departure from the album's earlier light-hearted sound.In a nutshell, this is lovely, lovely music. But not in a ‘what's a cute word that rhymes with rabbit way', in a simple, pure way. No aims, no agenda, just an album to take you to another place where everything's just a little bit better.Expect a lot.85%mp3:> Gregory and The Hawk: 'Grey Weather'Gregory and The Hawk on MySpace