New Music Review: Nadia von Hahn – Wait and See What Happens

The first time I heard Vanessa Carlton‘s  A Thousand Miles, I was hooked. The piano was beautiful, the strings added a little intensity, her voice was soft, yet, effective and the song had that “pop gem” quality.

When I listened to Nadia von Hahn‘s opening track Like Water for the first time, the same feelings were aroused as the first time I heard A Thousand Miles.  Please don’t misunderstand my sentiment, I’m not comparing the songs musically, as they are quite different.  But they did the same thing for me: immediate musical satisfaction.

Aside from being one of the longest titles in my blogging history, this is a very special blog post for another reason: I was contacted personally by Nadia von Hahn to give a listen to her album and write a review.  Keep in mind that I’ve never met Nadia, nor have I spoken to her on the phone, but simply been in contact via Twitter.  (What a crazy, wonderful technological age we live in, eh?)

Nadia von Hahn‘s debut 7-track album is called Wait and See What Happens. It opens with the lovely, aforementioned Like Water and flows, like water (couldn’t resist), gently along from there.  The jazzy, 50’s bebop shuffle of Love Maker may be the runaway hit on the album, as it has already been added to a few radio playlists (Evolution 107.9 for one), and is definitely the most unique (and playful) song on the album.

Bably Blue, along with most of the songs on Wait and See What Happens showcases not only Nadia’s lovely voice, but also her piano mastery.  She is a talented songwriter, composing the music, the lyrics and playing the piano at will, it seems, throughout the whole 7-song EP.

The One I Want begins so-so and had me drifting for a moment, but the oh-so-catchy chorus will reel you in and have you humming along in no time.  A lovely piano line over strings and a bit of a lazy drum groove rolls this tune gently along, and the lovely vocals are the icing on the cake.

Upon listening to the fifth track, Winter Is Nearly Over, initial thought: Sia – Breathe Me.  The intro begins with a lovely, dramatic piano line all alone and then comes Nadia’s voice, dressed in a vocal effect.  At 0:50 in, the drums and rest of the band kick in and the Sia effect is gone, but not at a price because Nadia does her own thing quite well.  A beautiful song musically and likely my favourite lyrically.

The album finishes off with I Can’t Be the Only One and This Holy Night.  The former is a fun, up-beat romp that again, showcases von Hahn‘s ability to wrap a catchy melody around her chorus line, as she so often does throughout this gem of a debut.  Also, this song features a little bit of organ, and some guitar, which I could have used a little more of.  One of the few criticisms I’d have about this album would be the lack of guitar, but that’s just personal preference.

The latter (This Holy Night) features piano played over strings, with vocals and some beautiful harmonizing.  This closing song also features the line “Wait and see what happens”, the inspiration for the album title, I assume.  At just over 3 minutes in length, This Holy Night is a solemn album closer, and hauntingly beautiful.

A very strong debut by Nadia von Hahn, I must say.  I enjoy each song and find that they all have something a little different to offer the listener.  She is honest in her musical approach and writes music that works very well with her voice and suits her lyrics wonderfully.  My only disappointment is in the length of the album, honestly.  I would have loved to hear another 3 or 4 songs, but I’m sure this won’t be a problem for the future, as this talented BC singer/songwriter looks like she will have a bright future ahead.

So do yourself a favour and visit http://www.myspace.com/nadiavonhahn, check her out on iTunes, and if you like what you hear, support this great local artist by buying her album and checking her out live!

And thank-you, Nadia, for giving me this opportunity to listen and review your lovely album!

-Dylan

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~ by whet_hopped on March 31, 2011.

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