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'Hannah White & The Nordic Connections'   

-  Label: 'Self Released'
-  Genre: 'Alt/Country' -  Release Date: '5th June 2020'

Our Rating:
This Anglo-Norwegian Americana band are very nearly Nashville but steer clear of schmaltzy ballads and end up sounding more pop than country.

The album was recorded live in, it says here, a bread factory in Bergen and features her husband and guitarist Keiron Marshall together with their Nordic band-mates.

A hammond organ and pedal steel guitar lend an authenticity to the sound but the focal point throughout is White's strident vocals. Her voice proves to be well-suited to brash party pieces but less effective for slower numbers. A song like My Father, for example, should be more tender and touching than it actually is.

The jolly City Beats is an upbeat crowd-pleaser that demonstrates that she and her band are best suited to songs that don't linger too long on heartbreak and loss.

Gotta Work Harder exemplifies a pragmatic, get up and go philosophy that seems to be driven more by motivational videos than political manifestos. Dwelling on failures in the past is not on the agenda; "what's gone is gone, what's done is done" is the brisk statement in Start Again.

The drawn-out Man Without Men attempts to be more poetic but falls flat while a half-hearted murder ballad The Darkness merely exposes the artist's limited range.

The lack of depth to these songs means that the album is driven entirely by an underlying optimism. With the best will in the world, such a heavy dependence on a feel-good factor is not designed to have a profound or long-lasting impact.

Hannah White's website
  author: Martin Raybould

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WHITE, HANNAH & THE NORDIC CONNECTIONS - Hannah White & The Nordic Connections