HANNAH PEEL is a true renaissance woman and arguably the most musically multifaceted artist at work in the UK at the present time.
She’s recently been curating and presenting BBC Radio 3’s Night Tracks; her catalogue, stemming from folky roots back a decade ago, has grown to take in the solo electronic and pop work of Awake But Always Dreaming, an ode to her grandmother’s mind as she lived with dementia; the wonderful collaboration with poet Will Burns, Chalk Hill Blue, stark lyrical imagery set against Hannah’s evocative wow and flutter, an off-kilter state-of-the-nation address; the vastness of Mary Casio: Journey to Cassiopeia, for synthesisers and a 30 piece colliery brass band (of course!).
She’s scored for Game of Thrones, earning an Emmy nomination and a documentary on photographer Lee Miller; and she’s worked with Erland Cooper, Paul Weller, John Foxx, Erol Alkan, Richard Norris, Laura Marling. I mean, this is an incredible CV. And what her oeuvre is shot through with is curiosity, sheer interest in what’s sonically possible.
She’s just announced her new album, Fir Wave, to be released on her own My Own Pleasure imprint come March 26th.
She’s teased with a lead track, “Emergence in Nature’: take a deep dive below, you know it’s the right thing to do.
It’s a beautifully off-kilter electronica confection, seemingly intent on the dancefloor but also really curious about a lot of other wayward textures it can play with; synth voices, skittering chatter, bleepy sweeps heading for Jon Hopkins country, while also pulling almost toward the Moondog compositional sphere. Intriguing and intelligent and deeply fun.
The new album, a sonic shimmer of textures and pulses that switches between raw atmospheric edges and environments, arrives with a fascinating history. Hannah explains its origins: “The specialist library label KPM, gave me permission to reinterpret the original music of the celebrated 1972 KPM 1000 series: Electrosonic, the music of Delia Derbyshire and the Radiophonic Workshop.”
She sampled, tinkered, rebuilt, generated new digital instruments in order to both rework and homage a true legend and pioneer.
There’s also an underlying ecological pattern and concept:“I’m drawn to the patterns around us and the cycles in life that will keep on evolving and transforming forever,” Hannah reveals.
“Fir Wave is defined by its continuous environmental changes and there are so many connections to those patterns echoed in electronic music – it’s always an organic discovery of old and new.”
Hannah Peel’s Fir Wave will be released by On My Own Pleasure on vinyl on March 26th – order yours here; there’s also a highly limited Dinked edition on blue vinyl with the usual additional Dinked bits ‘n’ bobs, which you can order here.
For more on a fascinating artist, hive yourself over to www.hannahpeel.com