Release Date: Jan 31, 2011
Record label: Static Caravan
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
The route Hannah Peel has taken on the way to her day job as a solo recording artist has been quite a circuitous one, encompassing various projects musical and otherwise, but the arrival of her debut record finds her cast into an unenviably competitive scene, replete with artists both male and female making similarly quirky folk music. In such a saturated market, particularly one involving so much ethereality, it can be difficult for an artist to separate themselves from their contemporaries or break free from the clichés of what folk represents. Unquestionably, Peel’s work comes more from Joanna Newsom’s end of the scale than Laura Marling’s, carrying with it more than a hint of the otherworldly, something that stems in part from the ghostly, frail quality of her voice, which at times can be spellbinding.
In her time, Hannah Peel has performed with a multimedia arts orchestra and composed scores for musicals, so you might expect her debut album to follow a fairly theatrical course. Sure enough, an undercurrent of drama runs through The Broken Wave, but it's never allowed to surge: Peel is too coolly restrained for that. Sometimes she even seems self-effacing: Unwound and Is This the Start? are so diaphanous they dissolve without registering much impact.
A distinctive debut album from the Irish-born, Yorkshire-raised folk singer. John Eyles 2011 Hannah Peel has had an unconventional history leading to this richly rewarding debut album. Irish-born but Yorkshire-raised, she played fiddle in her father’s band in Ireland. Trained at Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, she started composing when working on a theatre show that needed songs.