The celebrated alternative folk singer from New Zealand, Hannah Curwood, releases a new album while continuing her work as an amazing songwriter under her new project name, ‘Hannah In The Wars’. The self-titled album is emotionally extravagant with songs written to surprise the listener at every turn and symphonic arrangements adding a new greatness to Hannah’s dark and ethereal folk style.
Co-produced by Roger O’Donnell,whom is the keyboardist of The Cure, and recorded by Paul Corkett, whom recorded great artists such as The Cure, Nick Cave, and Bjork, it is no wonder that this album has a brilliant sound. Roger O’Donnell has supported the project by providing the perfect recording space in his country home studio and offering his expertise with the vocal performance, song arrangements, and synth programming aspects of the recording and production process. Paul Corkett’s experience with recording vocalists that have extreme vocal talent, such as Bjork, help to support Hannah with the right talent to capture her captivating vocal performances.
Roger O’Donnell explains the experience working with Hannah:
“The amazing performances and arrangements somehow pull you in and take you somewhere else. Somewhere Hannah has been but you haven’t, she shares her secrets and tells her stories…Its been a pleasure and a privilege to work with her.”
Hannah Curwood originated in the remote region of Central Otago in New Zealand but is now residing in London working alongside O’Donnell with an amazing group of hand-picked musicians now known as Hannah In The Wars. Hannah’s previous two releases, Sky Above, Horse Below (2007) and The Blind Love Ep (2009), found great success with songs like ‘It’s Been Snowing All Winter’, providing a fresh look on the folk sound with its dark lyrics and ethereal melodies.
Writing from true emotional and life changing experiences she grabs the attention of the listener with her ear grabbing lyrics and always has a unique change in each song that springs them toward an unexpected direction.
The third track on the album, ‘Rearview Mirror Baby’ has that dark lyric vibe Hannah possesses and has a great use of vocal layering with a lot of percussive and vocal stereo effects. ‘Infidel’ is another amazing track that starts with an ambient tambourine and folk style guitar reminiscent of Mazzy Star, and then builds into great symphonic string arrangements that bring the song to a grand climax. ‘Only Wanna Be’ is also a great symphonic track that builds around the vocals giving each section of the song strength and variety.
Every song on the album could be considered a hit song and they all have their own personality and uniqueness with different and creative songwriting twists. Hannah In The Wars new album injects Hannah’s heart and soul into each lyric of each song and surrounds her beautiful voice with perfectly organized arrangements that carry her emotional songs to heavenly heights.
Hannah explains how these songs came to be, stating,
“This album was written amidst a complex tapestry of events. A profound existential, spiritual and psychological crisis of a family member, terrifying, brutal and bewildering in intensity was accompanied by the agonising death knells and eventual shattering of a romantic relationship that had spanned many years, the deconstruction of a home.
This as the rumbling, groaning earth broke up under one of our cities. I remember hearing about the first big earthquake on a grey, humid Auckland day and feeling as if time suddenly stopped and was stretching, creaking, tearing at the edges. I went home that evening to a desolate, empty house and wept for the people of Christchurch, for my own grief, chastising myself for having the audacity to cry over an insignificant personal miasma when people a few 100 km away were lying dead, dying, searching for loved ones amongst the wreckage of multiple lives.
But this is how we work, in infinite ways, against infinite backgrounds we function. We grieve, we process, we grow and we continue on in our inexorable march, sometimes dragged kicking and screaming, sometimes passive travellers dreamily coasting with the current.”
For more info and music from Hannah In The Wars check out their Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Soundcloud, or Instagram.