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Emerging from London, via homeland New Zealand, alternative folk songwriter Hannah Curwood’s latest project, Hannah in the Wars, is a lush, vibrant debut record that comes off as bookish and smart as Suzanne Vega and as accidentally beautiful as Broadcast . Wrapped in a cloudy shawl of piano and strings and accentuated by Curwood’s uncommon vocals, the album, which is endorsed by The Cure keyboardist Roger O’Donnell, slinks and slivers through ten emotionally open songs of foggy love that fans of Sharon van Etten would love.
O’Donnell, who provided his home studio and helped with arrangements had this to say about the band: “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.”
From the press release:
Explaining how the songs came to be, Hannah says “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 travelers dreamily coasting with the current.”
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