10 Songs, 35 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Irish singer/songwriter Hannah Peel turned heads with her 2010 debut, Rebox, a dainty EP where she covered alt-radio favorites from the ‘80s accompanied by samples from an old windup music box. Her 2011 album takes a more sophisticated approach while exercising tasteful restraint (not an easy thing for someone who’s composed dramatic scores for musicals and performed with a multimedia orchestra). Under bombastic beats, “The Almond Tree” opens with piano and woodwind notes played through a Mellotron, although it’s the calm temper of her vocal performance that commands. Peel’s penchant for lyrical narrative also shines here, as the protagonist of “The Almond Tree” proves to be a hunted deer whose darting moves are approximated with the skittering song arrangement. The wintry “Solitude” is a standout with its stark simplicity and elegantly arranged strings. Peel’s magical music box makes a return in “Cailin Deas Cruite Na Mbo,” where she turns a traditional folk song into a darkened fairytale lullaby. 

EDITORS’ NOTES

Irish singer/songwriter Hannah Peel turned heads with her 2010 debut, Rebox, a dainty EP where she covered alt-radio favorites from the ‘80s accompanied by samples from an old windup music box. Her 2011 album takes a more sophisticated approach while exercising tasteful restraint (not an easy thing for someone who’s composed dramatic scores for musicals and performed with a multimedia orchestra). Under bombastic beats, “The Almond Tree” opens with piano and woodwind notes played through a Mellotron, although it’s the calm temper of her vocal performance that commands. Peel’s penchant for lyrical narrative also shines here, as the protagonist of “The Almond Tree” proves to be a hunted deer whose darting moves are approximated with the skittering song arrangement. The wintry “Solitude” is a standout with its stark simplicity and elegantly arranged strings. Peel’s magical music box makes a return in “Cailin Deas Cruite Na Mbo,” where she turns a traditional folk song into a darkened fairytale lullaby. 

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Ratings and Reviews

4.3 out of 5

9 Ratings

9 Ratings

Worth the wait

Madcapjim

Discovered Hannah Peel by accident and so glad I did. I couldn't find much available but was excited to see this coming. It isn't often you get the chance to discover a great new artist so give Hannah Peel a listen. And check out her other recordings as well. She is simply a great new voice to begin 2011 with.

Amazing voice and interesting songs

BepGaddis

I loved Hannah Peel's Rebox EP and was really excited to hear more. This definitely didn't disappoint! Hannah's beautiful voice along with this amazing, unique music is just perfect. I definitely recommend it!

Broken Wave is a tidal wave!

Blytheyboy

A fantastic first effort from a very talented artist. Hannah expresses so much feeling in this debut album. Broken wave is definitely not broken....it's a tidal wave of brilliance, with a new wave of fans caught in a whirlpool of emotion!

About Hannah Peel

Alternative singer/songwriter Hannah Peel was born in Northern Ireland, and began her musical career playing the fiddle in her father's band. At the age of 18, she attended Paul McCartney's Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, where she developed her violin, trombone, and piano skills. Following session work for Sandi Thom, she became a backing musician and collaborator for Easyworld's David Ford, the Unthanks, Blue Roses, John Foxx and the Maths, and Duke Special, and led the 13-piece Kinetic Fallacy in a headlining slot at the Big Chill Festival. Following support from BBC Radio 6 Music DJs Marc Riley and Stuart Maconie, she released an '80s covers EP, Rebox, and began work on her debut album. Produced by Tunng's Mike Lindsay with strings arranged by Nitin Sawhney, The Broken Wave was released through Static Caravan Records in 2011.

The critical success of The Broken Wave led Simon Tong and Erland Cooper of the Magnetic North to invite Peel to collaborate with them on their 2012 album, Orkney: Symphony of the Magnetic North, with Peel writing string and brass arrangements. Cooper also served as co-producer with Peel on her 2013 Nailhouse EP, a fusion of organic and electronic elements that was recorded at her own private studio, equipped with an array of vintage analog synthesizers. Arriving in 2014, the Fabricstate EP included the Royal Television Society award-winning song "Chloe," which was featured in the British TV series Dates, and in 2016 she released her much anticipated sophomore solo LP, Awake But Always Dreaming. That same year saw Peel collaborate with Beyond the Wizard's Sleeve on a pair of BBC Radio 6 playlisted singles, as well as issue a new Magnetic North LP, Prospect of Skelmersdale.

When not busy with her own recording projects, Peel has scored stage productions for London's Sadler's Wells Theatre, written music for several projects for Britain's Channel 4 television network, and contributed to the scores of the movie Anna Karenina and the TV series American Horror Story. Peel was also the first female recipient of the Momentum Music Fund grant, supported by the Arts Council of England. She wasted no time in putting together the ideas for her next release, and put out her third studio effort, Mary Casio: Journey to Cassiopeia, in the summer of 2017. Composed of various and resonant analog synths alongside soaring orchestral arrangements from a 29-piece colliery brass band, the album conceptually explored the empty and unknown vastness of outer space and the mysteries contained within. ~ Jon O'Brien

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