I ran into Hannah White and her band project, The Nordic Connections, for the first time during the British Country Music Festival in 2019. On 5th June 2020, the country / folk / Americana project released their (self-titled) debut album. Here is my view on it.
Hannah White and The Nordic Connections – About The Artists
Hannah White is quite an established artist in the British music scene. Her first release already has been dated as of 2009, called Poetry. In 2016 and 2018, she released two solo albums, Whose Side Are You On? and Elephant Eye. The Country People Magazine called her The Amy Winehouse of UK Americana. However, apart from these solo appearances, she also joined The Nordic Connections, which is a Norway-based band. Their debut album has been reported in Bergen and mixed in Los Angeles.
Hannah White & The Nordic Connections – Track by Track
The ten track album lasts 48 minutes.
1. Never Get Along
If the first track of an album is something like the business card or an introduction, this British-Norwegian project starts the show in a very promising way. Hannah White’s voice is just a lovely listen, the music is great – good track!
2. Start Again
I love to listen to Hannah White’s voice, but this song is not really catchy, even though it centers very much on White’s voice. The close to five minutes feel a bit lame and boring. Bad luck – maybe you like it more.
3. City Beats
The speedy piano play at the beginning feels very promising, but then the track is ebbing away over time. The track definitely has musical quality, but it is very hard for me to get a grip on this song, which has much more potential if it was arranged more powerfully. Too brave.
4. Pay Me A Compliment
Pay Me A Compliment is a very slow track having a very classic sound. Again, I feel that the vocals are not arranged a sufficiently strong way – it feels a bit like there should be sufficient presence for the Scandinavian melody-makers. In that way, the vocals just feel a bit too thin.
5. Gotta Work Harder
Oh, there is speed? There is beat? This powerful one feels surprising after all four songs before were a bit on the lame side. The first track, where I can really feel the potential of Hannah White and her The Nordic Connections.
6. My Father
My Father is definitely one of the better tracks of the album, even though White’s voice alters between gentle and soft moments and too fragile ones. Still nice to listen to.
7. Like We’ve Always Done
No top-hit, but a pretty solid production: Like We’ve Always Done is quite catchy – I definitely enjoy this album more when the songs focus on Hannah White’s songs – bad luck for the Nordics, who by that do not really have a chance to show their potential (at least there are some backing vocals in that one).
8. When You’re Not Around
Thank you, Hannah – in When You’re Not Around, the lead of this project is pushing more, having quite powerful vocal sections. Some other passages just remind me of Vanessa Paradis (in case you remember this artist). Finally, this track is in the “slightly above average” range.
9. The Darkness
The Darkness shows how Hannah White and The Nordic Connections could work out: a dramatic, mysterious sound, just made for a thriller movie. The Norwegians produce a nice atmosphere and White is playing with her voice. This works out quite well at least in parts of the song.
10. Man Without Men
The album concludes iwth its longest track (6:12 minutes). Could be a lullaby. Not bad music at all, but I miss something special.
Hannah White and The Nordic Connection – Spotify
Here is the Spotify link to Hannah White’s debut album:
Hannah White and The Nordic Connection – My View
I feel Scandinavian friends are always a great gift in life. They are very true and faithful companions. Regarding Hannah White, I just do not see a real added value in this collaboration, unfortunately. Her previous songs have definitely been better than the new Hannah White and The Nordic Connection songs. The album feels like a trip without a destination and finally just ends in being caught in a labyrinth of (in best case) average songs. Hannah, you can do more than that!
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