27 May 2022
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Hannah May - Single Review: Written in the Sea

05 Apr 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant

There is no time for “beating around the bushes” with Hannah May’s latest single Written in the Sea, a warning call to act on climate change that also introduces her debut EP, out later this year.

Led almost exclusively by a jaunty acoustic guitar, every musical element of Written in the Sea sounds warm and comforting, thanks to a skillful mix by Tay Oskee, and mastering from Paul Blakey. The song’s muted instrumentation calls upon the early work of Jamie McDell, whilst the final chorus’s gentle percussion and soft harmonies are reminiscent of Maren Morris and Kacey Musgraves.

But May’s voice stands out from the pack. She absolutely sparkles on this track, with just enough reverb and an apparent natural ability for crystal clear pitch. When subtle male vocals and soft woodwind underscore her vocal in the last chorus, the song adds a layer of depth that feels like the moment it truly all ties everything together. And although May's lyrics feel somewhat familiar, their politically charged message clearly holds immense meaning for her, as she performs them with incredible earnestness and charm.

Communicating the importance of action against global warming in a succinct, charming folk-pop anthem, Written in the Sea is a strong release for Hannah May. It’s a single that identifies her as an artist with a passion for what her music has to say, and undoubtedly, she'll have even more to share with her hotly awaited forthcoming EP.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Hannah May

A year and a half on from her last release Lay Me Down, Kiwi born and Australian based singer songwriter, Hannah May leaves her country roots behind, toning down the production and letting her inner musical style and abilities flow into the world of indie folk. With likeness to Xavier Rudd, Bon Iver, Ziggy Alberts and Sons of The East, May is an artist of her own right, writing lyrics that reflect real issues and deeper meanings and telling them through a velvet, soulful voice. Her newest single Written In The Sea is the first song to drop from her yet to be released EP and is just the start of a new chapter for the emerging talent. Through a pandemic that has thrown vigorous challenges her way, Hannah May has been able to find light in the dark by gaining a new perspective on life, personal and in her music which becomes apparent when listening to her new songs.

Hannah May had her start in the industry when she placed 7th in the 2015 season of the X Factor NZ as part of Kiwi duo Mae Valley. In this time, the pair were opening acts for Kelsea Ballerini, Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood performing to a crowd of 10,000 at Wellington, NZ’s Westpac Stadium. A few years on, the independent artist moved to Australia and began paving her way in the fast moving industry with the release of her debut single Passenger Seat which caught the ears of many, scoring worldwide radio play and a large number of streams. Following this was the release of 2 more singles and a spot on the Toyota Star Maker competition held in Tamworth in 2020.

After a couple years of self discovery, Hannah has stripped her music down to basics, giving listeners a raw, authentic sound that is bound to evoke emotions. Hannah is an artist to watch closely on the acoustic current indie music scene. With her single dropping and with more to come in the following months, 2022 is looking to be an exciting year for the emerging artist.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Hannah May

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