Hannah In The Wars - Hannah In The Wars

by Jeff Penczak Rating:7 Release Date:2015-05-18

New Zealand songwriter Hannah Curwood’s third release finds her in London, under the tutelage of ex-Cure keyboardist Roger O’Donnell, who offered his country home as a recording base, assisted with voice and programming arrangements, and released the album on his own label. The results are not as dark and gloomy as O’Donnell’s own pedigree might suggest. Curwood has a pleasing, crystal-clear voice that bears acrobatic similarities with Toyah and Kate Bush and her songs (expertly performed by her predominetly female band) are mysteriously romantic, intricately paced, and intelligently written.

‘Burning Through the Night’ is an upbeat opener with yearning vocals, while ‘The Hunter’ is one of those meltingly romantic songs that makes you want to wrap your arms around someone and hold them close for a very long time. The remainder of the album leans towards the quiet, intimate side, perfectly suited to late-night cuddle sessions in front of a warm fireplace (cf, ‘Only Wanna Be’) – Sarah McLachlan-type lovliness.

Expanding the musical palette, ‘Infidel’ introduces a wonderful violin backing, the haunting ‘Lay Your Hands’ uses a lonely piano to create a forlorn, navelgazing, contemplative mood, and closer ‘Dark Summer Dawn’ adds some warm harmonies, violin, and evocative melodies for that perfect come-down, chill-out experience after a long night of hearty partying at the local meat market. 

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