Lomelda - Hannah Music Album Reviews

Lomelda - Hannah Music Album Reviews
The stunning, open-hearted new album from indie rock singer-songwriter Hannah Read renders personal crises with a deft and delicate touch. 

Just over halfway through Hannah, the stunning, open-hearted new album from Lomelda, there’s a crucial moment of affirmation. Nothing is working—singer-songwriter Hannah Read’s body refuses to cooperate; her hands aren’t opening, her limbs are weakening. A security guard finds her splayed out on all fours. Singing about the moment over somber piano, Read’s voice cracks: “She asked me what’s your name/Are you ok?” The magic of Lomelda’s music is in that exchange, an infusion of strength and care from one person to another, no matter how small or ordinary. It has anchored Read’s songwriting from the beginning, and it is threaded throughout Hannah, which is warm and enveloping, like a hug.
More than ever, Read’s writing grapples with identity—how we see ourselves, how we’re seen—and the songs on Hannah render personal crises with a deft and delicate touch. “So confused who I have been, who I haven’t” sings Read on “Reach,” before looking outward: “How’d you know?” She’s never alone, even at her most desperately isolated; friends are always orbiting, in person and in memory, and they always seem to know best. The wistful and meticulous “Hannah Happiest” reflects a similar uncertainty. “Asked you if you knew/Who/I was,” Read admits. “You said Hannah.”

These aren’t just casual observations. The album oscillates between emotional registers, balancing profound quiet with strummy, emphatic pleas about how we might better comport ourselves in the world; there’s a sense that even at their most gentle, these songs are transmitting something deeply earnest and hard-won. This is as true of Read’s lyrics as of her arrangements, which are newly rich and rewarding. The noisy riffs of “Wonder” channel Alex G at his scrappiest, while “It’s Infinite” conjures a meditative sensibility with plush, finger-picked guitar. “Give it your all,” Read sings on the former track, nearly hollering, as if willing herself to take her own advice. On the latter, wrangling the family dog becomes a poignant metaphor for Read’s own dream-chasing. Though they’re stylistically distinct, the songs share a commitment to perseverance as a guiding ethos; they’re about resolving to press on, in spite of it all. Together, they suggest that the work of self-discovery is bound up in connection.

It makes sense, then, that the saddest moments on Hannah have to do with disconnection, and the breakdown of communication—half-heard conversations (“Hannah Happiest”), a reckoning with a painful memory (“Polyurethane”), the drop to all fours (“Stranger Sat By Me”). “Hannah Sun” is quintessential late-summer music, a travelogue steeped in regret: “Glad you held her/Glad you held him/Glad you held me, too/Though I didn’t know how to/Be closer to you.” She wavers before building herself back up, but she gets there: “Shadowed by a blue/Am I shining? / I am trying to shine.” It’s an image that captures how feelings can intensify even as they lose shape, leaving a lingering ”blue” in place of something more specific; even in sadness, Read finds a glow.

Read’s music has come to be associated with Silsbee, Texas, where she grew up, and Hannah was recorded in the studio her brother built there. But she’s been based in Los Angeles for the past few years (she cites the sunshine as a major factor in her decision to relocate), and it’s lent the music a more universal feel. The long drives of 2017’s Thx are less prominent here, but Read is still engaged in a kind of mapmaking, charting more explicitly psychological territory. The result is a cosmic “I’ve got you,” a link between worlds, bridging the individual and the communal. By the end, you’ll start to wonder about that distinction—where the boundary lies, or whether it’s there at all.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

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Lomelda - Hannah Music Album Reviews Lomelda - Hannah Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Tuesday, September 15, 2020 Rating:

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