Tuesday, June 16, 2015

CD: Hannah Bethel - NEVER ENDING SKY

Hannah Bethel

“Never Ending Sky” is Hannah Bethel’s latest release, following 2011’s five-track EP. The eight tracks on the new project prove that Bethel is truly a force to be reckoned with in contemporary music.

She effortlessly blends the strands of country, folk and pop with hints of Appalachian bluegrass and Americana. But what is consistent throughout is Bethel’s sure-footed songwriting and her distinctive, crystal-clear voice.

She seems to bring out the best in her co-writers (that on this album include David Myhre, Matt Vrba, Susan Ruth, Josh Matheny and David Velasquez) while maintaining her own personality on each song.

Bethel is a storyteller and each song on the album presents an intriguing tale from the playfully seductive “You Wanna Be My Man” to “Come Back Down” that starts out almost as a confiding whisper and grows to a plaintive cry of someone helplessly watching a loved one in the grip of substance abuse. “Frigerator” tells the story from the point of view of a person seeing their relationship gradually cooling: “And now the only thing turned on in this house / is the frigerator.”

Bethel’s voice is allowed to stand out front-and-center on every track, thanks to co-producer Brennin Hunt’s skillful hand on the tiller. (Multi-instrumentalist Hunt also contributes acoustic guitar, ganjo, lap steel, mellotron and keyboards, as well as background vocals.)

Standout tracks: “The Lie,” “Frigerator,” “Tumbleweed.”

CD review by Preshias Harris for Country Music News International Magazine

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