Praised by the likes of John Mayer and Justin Timberlake, the old school pop and soul of Michigan-raised singer and songwriter Mayer Hawthorne has a lot in common with much of the "retro" Motown style that's been reinvigorated over the past few years. But unlike many of his peers, Hawthorne's brilliantly inventive sound transcends the studio sonic wizardry with songs that don't just sound authentic -- they feel, well, mighty real. Hawthorne's most recent How Do You Do (Out Now, Universal Republic) expands the nostalgic R+B scope of his earlier works to encompass a broader swath of classic pop and rock elements. The sultry soul of songs like "Get to Know You and "The Walk" still dominate the revivalist spirit but other songs are sprinkled with 70's pop signatures ranging from ELO, Chicago and -- most notably -- Hall and Oates. No wonder that Hawthorne sat in with Darryl Hall for a performance of his "Dreaming" (video below), the sympatico pop/soul harmonies and ear candy melody are practically ripped from the back pages of Hall's blue-eyed-soul songbook.
Mayer Hawthorne - "Dreaming" (from How Do You Do)
Mayer Hawthorne - "No Strings" (from How Do You Do)