HANNAH HOWES: Candy
By Kara Segedin
This third album from Dunedin’s Hannah Howes is anything but a piece of disposable, sugary, pop – rather an intelligent, smooth, mellow offering that keeps getting better with each listen. The album is a fusion of folk, country, jazz and reggae. The opening tracks are cool and jazzy. By the third song Fallen Star an upbeat dub vibe is added to the mix and No Surprises shifts further in the direction of reggae. Oohaakii opens with a beautiful Maori karanga, building into a skilful mix of marching drums, strings and harmonies. Howes’s voice is pure, understated and very easy to listen to, sounding entirely relaxed and at home in a variety of styles. She is backed by a number of talented musicians including Maz Hermon, Peter Hill,and Myele Manzanza and together they’ve created an album that is calm and powerful at the same time. Recorded and mixed by the masterful Lee Prebble at The Surgery, ‘Candy’ is a pleasure.