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Hannah Rose Platt - Letters under Floorboards

  by Malcolm Carter

published: 24 / 2 / 2020



Hannah Rose Platt - Letters under Floorboards
Label: Continental Song City
Format: CD

intro

Second album from Liverpool-born but London-based Hannah Rose Platt, which has won well-deserved acclaim from Sid Griffin and Danny and The Champions Of The World


Missing out on her debut, ‘Portraits’ from 2015, Hannah Rose Platt is a new name around these parts although even after just one play (the first of many) it was concerning as to how she had slipped under my radar. I noticed that she has been championed by Sid Griffin who not only due to his work with the Long Ryders but more to his efforts in keeping the name of Gene Clark alive has my greatest respect, so I was expecting great things from Hannah’s second album, recently released on the Continental Song City label. And I wasn’t disappointed. Surprisingly, as her debut seems to have been boxed into the Americana/country genre, Hannah was born in Liverpool but now resides in London, so I was a little uncertain what to expect. With other respected musicians involved, apart from Griffin, (who lends his vocals to a song here) Danny George Wilson also adds backing vocals to a brace of songs while Joe Bennett (Bennett, Wilson, Poole) and Henry Senior (Danny & The Champions Of The World) also contribute. I almost feel unworthy to offer a few words about the album given that pedigree. Of the eleven tracks Hannah wrote eight solo and the remainder with Christopher Stevens. Hannah also co-produced the set with Thomas Collison (AMAUK Musician of the Year.) And what a set of songs ‘Letters Under Floorboards’ is. The opening song, ‘Illuminate’, is, not surprisingly given the title, an uplifting up-tempo cut; apart from the melody being instantly attractive Hannah displays that she has quite an impressive vocal range and style. The song is exactly what you wish was booming out of the radio all day. It will light the darkest of days and is hard to keep still to. From the very first line it’s obvious that Hannah is an excellent singer; the fact that she wrote the song furthers initial interest in her music and what is to follow. Things change slightly with the second track and story/song, ‘Chanel & Cigarettes’. As the album unfolds, setting compelling short stories with music that compliments the lyrics appears to be one of Hannah’s strengths. As the title might suggest to some, it’s a tale of adultery but with a twist. With just the musical backing provided by Hannah on guitars and violin and Thomas Collison supplying bass, drums and lap steel, the sound is one as menacing as the lyrics suggest. If Hannah is writing songs as gripping as this on just her second album it would seem that her talent is limitless. Each song is a story set to music, and it’s difficult not to name each song and analyse it, but songs such as the ballad ‘Your Way’ (from which the album takes its title) the listener feels that lyrically the song may be just a little closer to Hannah than her other story/songs. Her voice suddenly sounds more soulful. There’s more emotion expressed and there’s little denying that honesty seeping through in her vocals. ‘Brooklyn, New York’ another ballad, is simply gorgeous. Once more the soulfulness in Hannah’s delivery is shining through. Musically it seems fitting for this time of year as we prepare to say goodbye to 2019. The realisation that an Irish construction worker will never make enough for a return passage home to his lover is both heartbreaking and touching. “I miss the faces of the children we won’t have.” Get past that line without welling up, especially those who are away from their homeland right now. The subtle use of penny whistle is but one indication of the time and attention that has gone into every aspect of this recording. While every song is built around a story that really deserves retelling here, the duet with Sid Griffin has to be highlighted. ‘I Will Tell You When’ is the dialogue between a daughter and her farmer father as everything he’s built up falls apart as locusts wipe out his lifetime’s work. It’s another heart wrenching performance and tale. On this showing Hannah Rose Platt deserves all the acclaim she has so far received from her contemporaries and no doubt there will be more to come. It is just her second album and already Hannah’s proven she’s a major talent.



Track Listing:-
1 Illuminate
2 Chanel and Cigarettes
3 Sculptor
4 Your Way
5 Brooklyn, New York
6 When Audrey Came to Call
7 Checkmate
8 I Will Tell You When
9 Black Smoke
10 Josephine
11 To Love You



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