Over the years, Hannah Lou Clark has been part of a couple of projects which showed great potential but always seemed to quietly fade into the distance. In 2014, she decided to have a proper go of a solo project which seems to be getting the recognition she deserves.
Her debut three-track EP ‘Silent Type‘ turned a lot of heads with its confident yet understated indie-rock tones. Last year, she followed it up with another three tracker, ‘It’s Your Love‘, which was more of the same but with a bit more bite. Having spent some time on the road since then, Hannah has jumped back into the studio and with the help of her fellow musician chums, returns with her third EP ‘The Heart And All Its Sin‘.
On first listen to this EP, it’s clear that Hannah is not messing about here. It’s a record that cracks its head open for all to see inside. ‘Matilda‘ is a fearless opener as its narrator pleads “give me strength” in a swirling chorus, as fuzzed up guitar lines soar over Hannah‘s beautiful yet impassioned vocal. There’s always been a very assured tone to Hannah‘s voice, but this track has so much conviction and swagger, it’s fair to assume that this is likely to be the songwriters most personal set thus far.
This passion burns brightly throughout, with songs like ‘We’re Rich‘, ‘Grief Underneath‘ and ‘Torment Love‘ all ready to tug at your heart strings. We’re Rich is a particular highlight, with a beautiful string-laden chorus as Hannah gently croons her most direct love song. A strong contender for the prettiest song I’ll hear this year I can assure you.
Although this is a quite personal record, lead track ‘Don’t Sweat It‘ offers a bit of light relief with the message to not take things too seriously and that it’s ok to let your hair down. This is over a breezy drum groove, soaring guitar lines and a super infectious hook. There is no denying the pop sensibilities on this EP; the melodies are designed to swirl around your head for days on end.
The Heart And All Its Sin is the sound of a songwriter really opening up about many different situations and personal thoughts. It’s intimate and personal but it also has this every open and honest feel to it, which I think are quite rare emotions to portray all at once. It is a testament to Hannah‘s skills as a songwriter that she can tap into many emotions without it being overwhelming. In short, Hannah Lou Clark has really hit her stride with this set and with its mix of heart-on-sleeve pop and confident, desert rock attitude, it’s more than likely to open the right doors for this more than worthy artist.