In the spare acoustic guitar figure running through Hannah Connolly’s “Meet You There” we find a place to relax and take in the gentle affection with which the songwriter uses imagery to craft vibrant sense memories of the person she loves. At times her voice delivers the lines alone, at other times it’s doubled as though Connolly is harmonizing with herself. There is a sense of the early morning in the song and in fact Connolly sings “When the sun comes breaking through the dawn, I’ll meet you there/ When the waves come crashing on the shore I’ll meet you there” to express a longing without overwrought emotions. When she sings “I like driving through the canyons on the days I’m missing you, you said they look just like a green screen and I smile because it’s true,” Connolly gives a unique and rich sense of place that is immediately relatable and speaks much more about the place the person to whom these lyrics are directed has in her heart that the usual platitudes about love that drive so many songs don’t. It is in the fragile elegance and economy of Connolly’s songwriting where its power lies because it is that quality that lingers with you longer than bombastic declarations of devotion. Listen to “Meet You There” on Soundcloud and look for Connolly’s forthcoming full-length From Where You Are due out in 2020.
Hannah Connolly’s fragile and spare songwriting and performance on “House/Home” is the perfect format for a song about what it’s like to lose your home in the psychological sense. Pedal steel traces the fingers of dawn and dusk that seem to characterize the tone of the song. Connolly sings about how the house doesn’t seem like a home without the people she loves: “This house ain’t home without you, so there’s no reason left to stay.” With those simple words, Connolly articulates a feeling most people have had whether it’s living in a house you shared with a partner after the split up or going back to the family home after the members of your family that lived there have passed on or moved elsewhere and how those places can never be the same without the people in whom you invested your time and emotions, the people who give the idea of home context and meaning. It’s a sense of emotional intimacy and familiarity that you can’t simply buy or easily replace, it is something that must be lived and cultivated imbued with shared experience. Connolly captures the feeling of that loss with subtlety and and the strength of her poetic expression in words and music. Listen to “House/Home” on Soundcloud and follow Connolly at the links provided.
Textural guitar strumming and ghosts of pedal steel frame Hannah Connolly’s finely expressive vocals on the tender, gentle yet heartbreaking new single “From Where You Are” The song is about the loss of her brother and her words tell of the confusion and simple denial of the truth before her. The wishful thinking in the way many of us need as a cushion between our psyches and the death of a loved one with the necessary self-deceptions and refusal to believe as expressed in the line “Maybe when I wake, this will all be over.” But even when you know how many of us find the truth unacceptable until it is impossible to believe otherwise. Connolly relates taking the flight to the services and describes well those emotions mixing in our heads whether we fly out or travel across town, “Window seat 10,000 stories high and I’m too tired to hide the tears in my eyes.” The reality is starting to hit and still Connelly sings “Doesn’t quite feel real, maybe I’m just dreaming but I’m not asleep.” But in the end it is cruel to ourselves and others to deny the passing of our loved ones because it puts off feeling that deep hurt that may strike us at times for the rest of our lives and in accepting the mortality of those closest to us, Connolly gives us a poignant image of how much the acceptance can pain us as well when she sings “Useless wishes falling through the dark.” In the end the elegant and luminous treatment of the subject hints that even if we take the hurt of the loss inside and feel it so poignantly there is a hope of processing the grief even if we will miss that person forever. Listen to “From Where You Are” on Soundcloud and look out for Connolly’s debut album due for release in late 2019.