On the Radar: Will Hanson

Paris-born, London-reared, and Glasgow livin’ Will Hanson is a well traveled musician. He released Moving A Body this week, and it’s a fantastic debut. Backed by a six piece band, Hanson demonstrates an edge tempered by a brooding dark side that is wont to revel in macabre and misery.  Despite it’s upbeat arrangement, there’s something ominous about Our Basket, which describes gallows and an impending meeting with a guillotine blade.  Bats also contrasts music and lyrics as it shuffles along ebulliently, while its protagonist is resigned to performing a killing spree. The eerie, Deathbed Conversion, has that fresh funeral feel and closes with an ominous, Iommi-approved guitar lead.

Hanson flexes his chops on Curtains and In Our Loving Memory. The slow build of Curtains leads to a marvelous crescendo of strings and slightly strained vocals. In Our Loving Memory is an epic track driven by a punchy bass line until it hits the song’s bridge and then catapults itself into the stratosphere. It’s amazingly cathartic.

Artistically, Hanson uses musical arrangements to complement and accentuate mood, or to draw sharp contrasts to emphasize the imagery of his lyrics. It’s truly a strength of his, and it’s largely why this album works.

You can pick up Moving A Body at Itunes or eMusic for just under $7 US–an incredible value considering that it’s one of the year’s best debut albums.

Rating: 92/100 (a 2011 Must-Own)

Check out:

The View From Ebury Bridge (with mp3 download)

The Ungodly Hour

Deathbed Conversion



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