Paddy Hanna's career to date has not been conventional. A cult figure in the Dublin music scene, he has released numerous critically acclaimed singles before retreating inwards. But now an album bursting full of Hanna's morose charm and sardonic wit. Poetically, the studio where the album was recorded, Bow Lane, was knocked down a month after the album's completion. Job done in timely fashion. The album, produced by Daniel Fox of Girl Band is searingly honest but for those familiar with Hanna's previous singles, that will come as no surprise.
Hanna's songwriting has always has always sat somewhere between awkwardness and charm, that is something producer Fox wanted to convey through the production of the record. The key was to retain the anarchic nature of the songs while making them sound as they were always intended: rich and lavish. Ena Brennan (Tandem Felix) was integral in transitioning hummed melodies into the lush string sections that you seldom hear in DIY releases. The result is an album that recalls the likes of Jarvis Cocker and Scott Walker - dark humor and vulnerability - accompanied by Phil Spector-like arrangements.
"Bad Boys," is an infectiously catchy song featuring a trumpet line while "Toulouse The Kisser" is upbeat and pulsating, highlighting Hanna's variety of vocal delivery as well as subject matter. Paddy Hanna has an authenticity other musicians strive towards for years. That realness, that melancholy, that dry sense of humor are all in abundance on this album.