RICHARD Hawley's eighth studio album will be released on June 7 in his 20th year as a solo artist.

Further marks a departure for Hawley who has, to date, named all his albums after Sheffield icons or landmarks in his home city. For his new work, however, he wanted to capture the intention of moving forwards, but without jettisoning his past.

Optimism lies at the heart of an album made largely in Sheffield with co-producers Colin Elliot and Shez Sheridan. "I really wanted to challenge myself to try to keep things relatively up-tempo and keep the songs to about three minutes long," says Hawley.

"I was asking myself ‘Can you get your message across like a bullet? Can you still do that?’ It’s quite a tough question to ask."

Hawley challenged himself to deliver his most forthright album, clocking in at under 40 minutes. The thunderous first single, the Rickenbacker thrasher Off My Mind, sets the direct tone, with Hawley"playing like tomorrow may never happen".

Further was conceived with the here and now in mind. "We’re all bombarded by so much hateful stuff at the moment that I was determined to make something that is really loving," says 52-year-old Hawley.

"Some of the songs definitely reflect that and deal with what’s going on. Not Lonely is a good example. It deals with the stage that I hope our children get to, that stage where they can have a place of their own, being able to find their own space and luxuriate in it."

The track listing will be: Off My Mind; Alone; My Little Treasures; Further; Emilina; Is There A Pill; Galley Girl; Not Lonely; Time Is; Midnight Train and Doors.