Meanjin (Brisbane) based vocalist Hannah Macklin is back with “Stars”, her first release of 2023. The track is a heavenly slice of neo-soul, with a passing nod to jazz amidst a restrained sonic palate. The instrumentation is predominantly acoustic which allows Hannah’s soaring voice to shine. With strings in the mix, it has a lushness and operatic feel.
Lyrically, the track reflects on how stars appear to be so teeny tiny from a distance, but then cleverly switches the perspective to that of a celestial being (“the moon is my companion, the planets are my friends.”).
“Stars” has a timeless quality to it, straddlingy past eras and reminiscent of trip-hop pioneers Portishead, whilst also firm footed in the present. It may remind some of the current soul queen Solange.
Hannah is one of those ridiculously talented creatives who seemingly can do it all. As well as the songwriting and vocals, on “Stars” she added the keyboards, composition and string arrangements. Writing about the process of creating “Stars”, Hannah states: “The melody for Stars came to me first; I heard it inside my head. It felt like a phrase, a statement; hence it opens the piece and is referenced several times post. I was writing on a Yamaha CNR-80 synth organ at the time and the gentle velocity, the whir of the keyboard’s sound lent itself well to conceiving the rest of the song. The rest flowed from there; lyrics and melodies entwined, snaking their way through the piece. I wrote the string parts last; using a demo of the finished song in GarageBand to compose over. Most of the string parts were melodies I first sung and then transcribed.”
“Stars” is the first release for Hannah on Hopestreet Recordings. We believe there will be a new album released later in 2023. I first saw Hannah under her previous moniker of MKO in 2013, so it’s a thrill to be premiering her latest track.
You can pre-save “Stars” HERE. In the meantime, enjoy our exclusive premiere, ahead of its release on Friday.
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