Published Sep 01, 2020At its core, Lomelda is a project about shyness – that it's okay to feel it, how to embrace it, and laying it all out to be examined in its primary elements. Over the last few years, Hannah Read has sang about introversion in simple terms, and her latest album continues to showcase her no-fuss, contemplative songwriting. Fittingly named after herself, Hannah is taken straight from the mind of a wallflower, apprehensive and always low-key.
Whether she is quite literally questioning her own happiness in "Hannah Happiness" or dealing with the act of sharing feelings with others in "Stranger Sat by Me," Read awakens the overwhelming feeling of second-guessing choices or misremembering a specific experience. On the wired "Reach," Read's murmuring whimper soars as she wonders, "So confused who I have been, who I haven't – outta habit now," over low humming guitars and a homely, cushioned drumbeat.
Though she moved to Los Angeles, Read recorded Hannah in her small Texan hometown of Silsbee, where you can practically hear the tumbleweeds punctuating her thoughts. The lightly strummed "Polyurethane" and "Big Shot" follow a similar vain to her very succinct album from last year, M for Empathy, where Read focuses on small moments of grief in so few words.
In contrast, "Tommy Dread" and "Hannah Sun" have remarkable full-band arrangements, carefully fanned out with reedy acoustic guitars and Read's quavering voice attentively rounded into memorable melodies. On the wordless "Both Mode," Read unleashes distorted, swerving guitars in a move that shows her ability to be loud when she needs to. Explosive lead single "Wonder" swells with shrinking guitars and Read's triumphant repeated refrain to herself: "When you get it, give it all you got, you said."
On Hannah, Read occasionally mucks up any coziness she builds up – hey, it's complicated to feel lonely sometimes. (Double Double Whammy)