Paddy Hanna
Leafy Stiletto [CS; Already Dead ]

The reels of this Already Dead Tape can barely contain the blood-boiling, neck vein-popping enthusiasm of a singer like Ireland’s Paddy Hanna. As the billowing bass rumbles the cones of your speakers and the driving drums nearly derail the entire thing, Hanna’s vibrato falsetto flutters its way out into oblivion. And the music almost suffers for it, the vocal missing a couple of the higher notes by an eye-squelching hair at the most-intense, barrier bending moment. But it’s a necessary trade-off and the kind of buy-in that’s ultimately needed for an exceedingly sweet pop tune like opener “Rosslare Tapes” to succeed like it does; if you can tell that they don’t really care, then why should you or me or anyone else? And that’s one thing you can’t really question of Hanna: his commitment to his songs. Whether he’s on acoustic or electric guitar, draining his pipes on a harmonica, strumming his way across a ballad or banging out a burner, you can bet that nine times out of ten he’s being damned cheerful about getting the chance to do it. And none of that really describes the cleverness of the songs themselves, the quick turns of phrase, or the sheer knack Hanna’s got for crafting impossible-not-to-hum-along-to melodies. It’s the kind of music that comes with built-in hooks and invisible string to magically lift the corners of your mouth when you hear it. Lips permanently pursed in a whistle, toes restlessly tapping; this is what becomes of the happy tunes of Paddy Hanna.


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