HANA @ O2 Academy Brixton 10th March 2016

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Brixton Academy or O2 Academy Brixton saw HANA support Claire Boucher (AKA Grimes). Pestle had been supporting on the UK leg of the Ac!d Reign tour and she is a new upcoming American artist. Now Hana Pestle is no stranger when it comes to Grimes due to the fact she has been singing backing vocals on the Endless Summer tour last year.

Just like that tour Hana was once again was providing backing vocals. This show was a double whammy as you had two terrific acts and these being Grimes who hasn’t played in the UK since 2012 and then there was Hana Pestle who is an exciting prospect.

At present there have been a handful of songs released and these being Avalanche, Clay and the recently released Underwater. All of which are taken from the forthcoming self titled EP which drops on 25th March. I’d heard in an interview that Hana’s live sets would consist of the 5 tracks from that EP plus another 2 or 3 new songs that still need to be fleshed out.

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This showcase was just that. Consisting of a mammoth 9 songs this set list featured the whole of the HANA EP, 3 brand new untitled cuts and then you had an incredible take on the Eurythmics. Anyhow with just one keyboard/ computer onstage a sole Hana made her appearance by getting stuck into a brand new song. The performance however was not smooth as there were problems with the microphone as no sound was coming out of it. “Hi everybody. OK let’s try that again. I’m Hana it’s nice to meet you guys. Thanks for being so sweet” she then mentioned before diving straight into an atmospheric New Song which left me in a trance. So after 2 minutes of beautiful beats it was into this captivating tune “And here I am but I cannot help but fall for you”. Whilst this doesn’t appear on the EP, I hope this at least features on the debut LP. The vocals were sugary sweet and the electronic beats had a dance vibe to them. Straight after it was then onto Avalanche which appears on the forthcoming release and this song was produced by Blood Diamonds. Now this synth pop tune was silky smooth aided by infectious upbeat lyrics which reminded me of Lorde. The verses were extraordinary but was had me hooked was the swooning chorus “You say you wanted me to hold my own/ But now I know I was under your control/ All the ways that I could haunt you now/ Your grip is slipping fast Now baby, I’m an avalanche” Avalanche was delivered with plenty of gusto. Once over it was onto yet another New Song. I really liked this cut it was very upbeat plus you had the sound of steel drums giving it that calypso feel. Now I found this to be quite spectacular, the lyrics were ace and considering this was a new cut which is untitled I was left hooked “Sudden like the clouds have taken cover/ And I won’t stop until the night is over”. It was one that I expect will get fleshed out. But I hope it will be one that I’ll get to hear again in the future. Coming up next was Underwater and this being the newest cut which also features on the new EP.  At first this was a smooth cut then as it progressed the pace picked up. Still this was a stunning tune aided by an ethereal vocal delivery which sent shivers up my spine. Now Underwater is a promising number, this was sweetly delivery and the lyrics had me hooked from the word go “Like my father and my mother/ I will love you for forever/ Hold my hand and dive now sister/ Breathe with me underwater”. Following on it was then onto the debut Hana single and this being Clay. This was a whimsical dream like cut aided by breezy verses and a captivating/ upbeat chorus “Now I’m going away/ And you’ll never find me/ Five years older today/ Molding clay/ Found you never knew me/ Now I can find happy/ Nothing to show but my name”. I found the upbeat Clay to be light and fluffy with lyrics that depict a relationship Pestle was in and getting out of it.

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The third and final new cut of the evening was stupendous. I really enjoyed this New Song as this was a short funky cut with infectious lyrics which entranced me “I held my tounge to come down/ I lost that fight somehow/ I’ll take my heart and bite down/ You push my head and I won’t drown”. I really hope that this tune does see the light of day. Performance wise this was delivered with bundles of energy flowing from it and it perfectly infused into the next and this being a take on the Eurythmics Here Comes The Rain Again. I have to say that this cover was extraordinary with lyrics which were extremely contagious. White was the penultimate tune of the evening and this being a song which is not in the public domain yet. Despite featuring on the new EP there are no previews whatsoever. “I waited alone in the snow/ I’m ready to go/ I’m ready to move back”. I have to say this was a gorgeous tune with sparkly lyrics which were faultlessly delivered. Chimera then ended this glittering set and this being one of Hana’s favourite tunes. This was one spectacularly smooth cut which left me in a trance. I definitely look forward to the release of the debut EP on 25th March.

SET LIST

New Song
Avalanche
New Song
Underwater
Clay
New Song
Here Comes The Rain Again
White
Chimera

OVERALL: Hana Pestle truly has something special. Going under the guise of HANA, Pestle has a host of outstanding material. The 5 songs from the self titled EP are amazing and the new cuts truly were outstanding. If they are that incredible as rough cuts they must be out of this world when they are fully 100%.

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