"Remedy" by Hannah WoofReview
Hannah Woof singles come along too infrequently (it's been fourteen months since "My Phone" and five since her collaboration with Jake Rizzo, "Obvious") but at least they are worth waiting for and you know how much love, care & hard work went into each one, partially explaining the time we are obliged to wait.
At last we have "Remedy" today, of which Hannah herself says "…this song means a great deal to me. It meant a lot to me when I wrote it and it's come to mean more to me than I ever could have imagined…Writing and making this song was magic..".
I totally believe her on that score, though I would add the rider that Hannah has always written from a totally personal & heartfelt perspective (that's one of her glories & one I have repeatedly stressed in reviews) and so it's perfectly consistent with the core of her creativity.
In the past, she has worn her heart on her sleeve so openly that despite her knack of a beautiful melody, the rawness of the motion on display has been difficult for us to handle, especially in a live setting. In case you think I intend that comment in a negative way, I most certainly do not: again it's something I've always cited as one of her great strengths. Some of us listen to music to be moved & Hannah always has had that ability to send shivers up our spines.
"Remedy", like its predecessor, in terms of production has moved on in a vaguely pop direction compared with the starkness of her earliest releases, but not at the expense of her characteristic attributes.
Another Hannah trademark is exposing her own vocals & hence the power of her words by reducing accompaniment to the bare minimum required ("Remedy" even begins a cappella) and has always had a confidence in her own voice. When the instruments kick in, they may these days be more electronic & layered than the acoustic guitar or piano of yore, but her same "less is more" philosophy still applies.
John Lennon once said "I like to write about me, because I know me" in defence of his often very introverted lyrics and I think the same holds true for Hannah. She is above all a truthful writer & singer and she seems to go to great lengths to search for truth and ultimately that takes her to her own experiences for better or worse (usually the latter).
So you get immensely soulful songs & that frequent feeling of sympathy for what she went through in order for the song to be born (I guess there must be some element of catharsis in there for her too). Listening to "Remedy" and reading her words above, that's where we are again.
Occasionally, amidst the defiance of those early songs we caught the brief glimpse of optimism & Hannah seems with "Remedy" to be developing this theme more these days: hurt is there but she offers hope & that via her own agency too.
"Remedy" (produced by Jack Arnold, mixed by Matt Cotterill and mastered by Riley Knapp) repays the wait & it's another exquisite Hannah Woof song. No doubt it will moisten a few eyes when played live as well. She is a class act & her frank & uncompromising honesty in processing her own emotions stands out like a beacon amongst the tendency in mainstream music for artists with evocative voices to fake such things or express them via clichés.
Please do also check out the stunning artwork by Emilié Cotterill of Transluceo which accompanies the single and you can also hear "Remedy" on the current "Hot Music Live Presents" Spotify playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/3oCggbP6HwfZDqaI2vNUtn?si=90ac3f900682430a