Within seconds of listening to Hanna Bech’s debut EP, it’s clear that this singer-songwriter from Ontario wants to take her listeners to a world of whimsy and dimly-lit cabaret bars. “ABC’s”, the single and first track on the album, sounds like the brain child of Kate Nash and Aimee Mann: a perfect balance of tongue-in-cheek lyrics and a melody that you will be whistling for the rest of the day. The accompanying video on YouTube is a lighthearted and animated companion to the single.
Bech describes her ambition as a musician to be one of simplicity and realism: “My favorite artists take their shoes off on stage and I’m always striving for that same kind of grounded authenticity in each project I take on.” After funding Naked Bones successfully on Kickstarter, Bech took the time to write an EP that she has every reason to be proud of. Each of the five songs call to an artist with the same brazenness and talent. “Naked Bones” is reminiscent of The Dresden Dolls and practically clouds the listeners in cigarette smoke and dark red lighting. “Tidal Wave” sounds of early Tori Amos and Devics, and “Butterfly” plays like an adult lullaby. The last song on the EP “Fear of Crumbs (f u gluten)” has a title that makes you smile but with a melody that makes you recognize the beauty of the album.
Bech’s impressive vocal range and ability to write capricious songs without a hint of novelty make this a stunning debut. The entire album feels like Tim Minchin, an Australian comedian and songwriter with a natural gift to make his listeners laugh and cry at the same time. This artist may just be starting out, but her work is already leagues ahead of others.