I was very late to the party with Hannah Peel. But from the moment I first saw her live supporting Vaults (R.I.P) I instantly knew she was something special. For here was an artist creating pop music (of sorts) that had vision, originality and something buried within it that was raw, emotional, very human and connected with her audience. Awake But Always Dreaming, Hannah's second album, ended up on a few selective end of year lists and if I was rewriting mine now, it would have found a place on that as well.
Now comes news of new material and once again it looks like Hannah's music is going to be taking listeners on a fascinating journey of discovery, with an album ready to roll out this September called Mary Casio: Journey to Cassiopeia. The record tells the tale of an unknown, elderly, pioneering, electronic musical stargazer and her lifelong dream to leave her terraced home in the mining town of Barnsley, South Yorkshire, to see Cassiopeia for herself. The album is no ordinary pop album though. It’s a seven-movement piece composed for analogue synthesizers and a full traditional 29-piece colliery brass band, the brass being recorded live at The Barnsley Civic Theatre with Peter Gabriel’s Real World studio team. The first release from it is a track called Sunrise Through The Dusty Nebula and it’s absolutely breathtaking. It’s full of deep melancholy and spaciousness but equally it soars with a commanding wonder. Take five minutes out of your day to bury yourself away somewhere and absorb yourself in this gorgeous piece of music.
Hannah Peel - Sunrise Through The Dusty Nebula