King Hannah – I’m Not Sorry, I Was Just Being Me
You’ll definitely hear more instant debut albums this year. But you’ll be hard-pressed to find one that sounds this self-assured and comfortable in its own skin.
The Liverpool two-piece – comprising of vocalist Hannah Merrick and guitarist Craig Whittle – come fully fledged on their first full-length release. Opener A Well-Made Woman sets the tone for what’s to come perfectly, a winding, smoky slow-burner that showcases Whittle’s languid guitar leads, as well as Merrick’s macabre vocals. There’s almost something Billie Eilish-like about her brooding tones: it’s immediately arresting and compelling.
Sonically speaking, I’m Not Sorry, I Was Just Being Me is formed in the mould of 90s American indie. There are shades of Portishead in album highlight All Being Fine, another dusky, foreboding groove, while the rather more goofy Go Kart Kid (HELL NO!) recalls Stephen Malkmus’s more irreverent Pavement moments, via Illuminati Hotties. It’s all remarkably restrained and understated, resisting the urge to break out into big, clichéd rock-out climaxes. Rather, the album feels constantly on the brink of an explosion that never comes – and it’s all the better for it.
What’s particularly impressive is, despite the obvious influence of Americana on the record – and there’s no denying that these tracks carry all the bluesy smoulder of a Southern dive bar – King Hannah never once sound like they’re trying to be something they’re not. Merrick’s lyrics ground the project firmly at home in Liverpool, even when they’re covering such territory as go-karts and, erm, Steve Carell. The bleak humour tempers the more moody musical arrangements to a tee.
“Authenticity” is a completely intangible quality that’s almost impossible to put your finger on, but however such a thing is defined these days, it’s hard to deny that King Hannah have it in droves. This is an act that has arrived fully formed, and are surely here to stay for as long as they want to.
I’m Not Sorry, I Was Just Being Me is released on 25th February 2022. For further information or to order the album visit King Hannah’s website here.
Watch the video for the single It’s Me and You, Kid here: