Hannah Peel is a northern irish singer songwriter. She is listed under ‘alternative’. She describes her music as ‘wonky folk-pop’. She is an extremely talented and versatile musician and composer. I saw her singing in a friend’s house, and she performed simple beautiful versions of soft cell’s ‘tainted love’, new order’s ‘blue Monday’ and the Cocteau twins’ ‘sugar hiccup’. Covers of songs which I listened to as a teenager. Songs that were becoming famous just as she was being born.
She stood straight-backed with her weight on one leg, and accompanied herself by hand, cranking a small wooden music box, through which she wound long pieces of paper she had perforated with a hole punch. When the papers came to an end and fell to the floor the songs were over.
Last year she released The Broken Wave, a brilliant debut album of her own songs. They have titles like ‘the almond tree’, ‘song of the sea’, ‘solitude’. Haunting. Clever. Catchy. This year she is touring with the Magnetic North. She is tall and beautiful and has red hair. But that’s not strictly relevant.
Hannah Peel is performing with the Magnetic North at the st magnus Festival, Kirkwall, Orkneys, in june, latitude festival in july and the Moseley folk festival in september