SOMETIMES it’s just absolutely the right time for a band. Sometimes, that band exists as a fully formed notion; and it just needs to step out into the physical world.
This is the case, I’d venture, with Liverpool duo King Hannah, who’ve announced their official arrival at the musical ball with their debut offering, the stark, emotionally naked and wistful shade of “Crème Brûlée”. Watch the video, below. They’ve also announced that they’ve signed on the dotted for the excellent Berlin indie City Slang.
King Hannah actually existed as a solo project of Craig Whittle’s long before he’d even met Hannah Merrick. Serendipitously, they met when Craig took on a side hustle at a bar where Hannah worked; he’d seen her sing years before.
It wasn’t long before the bar job was merely the second phase of a day which began with music-making at Craig’s; although, lacking courage, it was to be a long time before Hannah brought her own musical creations to explore.
“That went on for a year,” said Hannah. When they finally got to fully collaborating, everything fell into place.
“It’s just about finding the right people. When I go to Craig with some chords and lyrics, he just gets it,” she continued.
“If we hadn’t found each other, I don’t know where we would be,” adds Craig.
We should be glad their paths crossed. “Crème Brûlée” is such a strong debut. Hannah’s voice is low and clear and direct: a femme fatale torchsong, the sorta thing a bad girl with a hidden heart would sing you in a David Lynch film. There’s that beautifully revelatory lyrical detail: “I need you … and I think I like you too much.” It’s music for big skies, dark hearts.
The accompanying monochrome video is a great dovetail, too, of which they say: “We shot and edited it ourselves across Liverpool and North Wales (spot the Welsh flag!) with the aim to create a homemade, documentary-style piece inspired by the indie films we love. We really hope you enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed making it.”
Their musical inspirations include Mazzy Star and Kurt Vile. Hannah writes lyrics first thing in the morning and lets her mind spill onto the page; they contain all the raw vulnerability and mundane reflections of that mental space.
“There’s nothing pretend about us,” she says.