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Madam Owl

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iTunes Review

Milwaukee, Wisconsin-born Jeff Hanson sings in a voice that comes from the angels. It isn’t uncommon for listeners to wonder if it’s indeed a man delivering these dreamlike mini-symphonies. At 30, Hanson put together Madam Owl his third and most accomplished album to date. With gentle orchestration that traces and counterpoints his every move and eagerly supports the gently finger-picked acoustic guitar, haunting melodies such as “Night,” “Your Only Son,” and “Nothing Would Matter At All“ sail into the mystic, evoking a dark night of the soul once approached by Alex Chilton around the time of Sister Lovers (aka Big Star’s Third). The banjo-picked “If Only I Knew” provides a jarring back-porch scenario that makes Hanson’s ghostly vocals all the more surreal, while the short and elusive “Maryann” slips quietly into the corner. Hanson’s guileless vocals have likened him to “Emo” styled groups, but Hanson draws from a deeper well. There’s as much Magical Mystery Tour here as any resemblance to the pure ache of Bright Eyes.

Customer Reviews

NPR 3rd greatest unknown artist of 2008

With his album "Madam Owl" those who knew of Jeff Hanson understood that there was something great to be heard, the only problem was getting the word out. An in depth study from National Public Radio found that Jeff Hanson was one of the greatest unknown talents of 2008. If you're to stumble upon this man (yes man, don't let the angelicly high voice fool you) you'll soon see that his talent's far outrech his reputation. If you can handle the impossibly high voice than you're in for a great album.


jeff's songs are magical in every way... my new favorite folk singer hands down

Absolutely one of the year's best

Yes, that's a man's voice, angelic and sincere. Think Elliott Smith if he had lived, skewed his baroque pop to the country side, and sucked helium before recording. Well, it's better than that. With the pop appeal of tracks like "If Only I Knew," the drama of "The Hills," or the heartbreak of "This Friend of Mine," you can't go wrong.


Born: March 3, 1978 in Milwaukee, WI

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Singing in a falsetto that frequently garnered reviews mistaking him for a girl, Jeff Hanson fronted indie rock band M.I.J. before starting a solo career. Born in Milwaukee, WI, Hanson began his musical training at age four with guitar lessons. He formed M.I.J. when he was only 13, and after seven years the band released a 7", an EP, and a full-length on Caulfield Records. After going solo, he sent a demo to Kill Rock Stars. They signed him based on the demo alone, a rare exception for the label....
Full Bio
Madam Owl, Jeff Hanson
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Customer Ratings