EP Review – Winter by The Hannah Barberas (2020) (self released)

 
I’m not shy. Regular readers will know that. Therefore I have gone to great lengths on social media to try and dissuade acts from sending me their Christmas music. It’s not that I do not like the festive period, it’s just that ever since I stopped believing in Father Christmas, music proclaiming that he was about to pop through the chimney that most houses don’t have anymore, whilst simultaneously seeing how many words rhyme with snow, has simply lost its appeal.
So before a squillion acts get the hump about me reviewing this EP, please note that a) it is, as the band went to great lengths to convey, about the season of winter and not Christmas, b) it is great in the way that The Hannah Barberas are always great, c) all proceeds from sales are for charity and d) it’s my blog, so nuh nermy nuh nuh! 
Point b (above) is the most pertinent, with Winter seemingly the natural progression to August’s Fallow Days EP.  As such we see opener Happy Winter stripping down the intensity, adding luscious sophisti-pop machinations and slight country inflections, as it becomes the natural musical partner to the Slow Cooked Boy alternative version on Fallow Days. Essentially the track is an absolute showcase for Lucy Formolli’s voice, if ever it was still needed.
Can You Hear The Snowfall is how we got to love THB’s. All insistent jangly indie-pop, coursed through the sort of late 80’s Sarah Records style percussive/melodic fragility, that suggests pretty, but is ultimately too indie-pop left field for anything other than being cool! 
Finally, as is their way, the band dip into covers territory with Vic Goddard’s Holiday Hymm taking a joyride on the back of a Motown bassline whilst being augmented by a typically glorious, indie-pop sensibility. It’s not a track they would necessarily see as album worthy, but their EP’s are always full of playful treasures like this.
There is new music (an album and possibly an EP) due from The Hannah Barberas in 2021 and this EP should keep your appetite firmly whetted. remember all proceeds from sales of this release go to charity, so if the pandemic has not whisked all your fiscal abilities away, why not consider helping out the favoured charity of your favourite act, Shelter.

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