Hannah Paris – Only You (Review)

Hannah Paris - Only You
Release: 27th May 2022
Format: Digital
Label: Black Barn Music

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Hannah Paris returns with a refreshed, revitalised and re-energised sound. Traditionally, Hannah has relied upon a more stripped back approach to their music. This time however, we are treated to an ultra-modern multi-layered production filled with little nuances that will allow you to discover something new with every listen.

The first fifteen seconds really set out this new direction with subtle layers of guitars, electronic elements and backwards sounds that signal the entrance of the vocal and indeed a new era for Hannah. Everything just sounds warmer with allot more depth, building layer upon layer as the track moves to its peak. The arrangement of the song has also clearly been thought out with the verses breaking down to the bare bones, yet still retaining the subtle ear candy throughout. This then builds layer upon layer to reveal a chorus that hits like a semi-truck after the backwards swell riser throws you into the chorus. The chorus may indeed be the biggest chorus we have heard from Hannah and you can imagine it being played in an arena with the phone torches out while the audience sways along, holding tight to their one true love.

Lyrically, the song is based around the idea of finding that one true love that completes you. How that one person can become your whole world and make your life complete. Going on a journey from the first verse which questions those feelings through to the realisation that it is indeed ‘only you’ that makes life complete.

As you would expect from a Hannah Paris record, the vocals are the star. But this time, they sound fuller and more assured. Perhaps this is the result of stellar production work. Or maybe, Hannah really feels at home with this song and key. Either way, the vocal delivery really makes you feel part of the story where you really feel what the character within the song is going through. From the initial doubting of the feelings of love, through to rejoicing in finding that one true love that completes them. The verses are very intimate vocally and the production really brings out the breaths and inflections that make the vocal feel like Hannah is right next to you telling you the story. However, in the chorus, the vocal soars to new heights whilst still retaining that intimate quality. This is no easy task, so it is one that must be applauded.

Musically, the song is firmly in the key of D major with a I - V - VI - IV chord sequence that switches to V - IV in the pre-chorus. With a swung 4/4 meter it has almost 6/8 feel which gives the song a sense of momentum which feels faster than the home bpm which is around 75bpm.

If this single is a marker for what is to come next, then we can’t wait to hear where the road leads for Hannah Paris. I hasten to say that maybe Hannah has found ‘her sound’ with this release. Perhaps this is the start of a whole new journey, one that we cant wait to be a passenger on.