The first I heard of Hannah Peel was "Hey Santa" her Christmas song given away free on Mojo's Christmas CD. It was the best track on the disc and was voted best Christmas track on a resent BBC Radio show. This made me look her up on Youtube and I discovered the wonderful "Rebox" covers. 4 songs Tainted Love, Blue Monday, Electricity and Sugar hiccup all played on a music box by Hannah with just her singing. Both different and wonderful. The Rebox EP is well worth downloading.
The debut album was well worth the wait (it was available to download a couple of weeks ago, but I prefer the physical disc and packaging). The firat 8 tracks are Hannah's own compositions and the final 2 "Cailin Deas Cruite Na Mbo" and "The Parting Glass" are modern (with a little weirdness)covers of traditional Irish songs.
Musically and lyrically Hannah's songs contain a great mix of trad folk with a nice original touch and that little bit of weirdness that makes them a very interesting listen. As well as the usual instruments guitars, bass, drums, etc... there are plenty of the unusual music box, trombone, zither lap harp, electric saz (whatever that is?)and of course knee slaps, as well as some orchestration. It's difficult to pick out highlights as there really is no weaknesses, but at the moment "You call this your home", "Don't kiss the broken one", "Unwound" and "The Almond Tree" are my favourites.
If you're unsure there are lots of tracks to try out on Youtube and Hannah's Myspace page.
A fantastic debut album, well recommended!