No Depression Sessions at AmericanaFest: Hannah Connolly
Hannah Connolly (photo by Ellyn Jameson)
Singer-songwriter Hannah Connolly, now based in Los Angeles by way of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, joined us at Jaan’s House in Nashville for this No Depression Session during AmericanaFest 2023 to share music from her upcoming 2024 album, Shadowboxing.
Flanked by pedal steel player Karl Smakula and her longtime collaborator Ben Greenberg on acoustic guitar and background vocals, Connolly starts with a stellar vocal performance of the upcoming album’s title track. It is always an absolute pleasure to hear how songs translate from studio versions to more stripped-back sessions like this one. Connolly’s voice is front and center throughout this ND Session, and we could not be happier with the result.
Connolly tells us that the move to Los Angeles expanded her musical vocabulary to the indie rock world; previously, in Eau Claire and Minneapolis, she had lived more in the Folk/Americana sound. We can hear the sonic evolution of Connolly’s work from her debut EP, 2013’s Flying, to her 2020 debut full-length album, From Where You Are, to what’s coming next on Shadowboxing. On the studio version of “From Where You Are,” we hear a lovely soundscape including interesting and unexpected sounds like the shimmery synth just before the last verse. Listening to the single “Reno” from the upcoming record, I hear lush reverb and a tasty snare that’d be just as comfortable on a Tame Impala track as it is on Connolly’s indie folk record.
Connolly also describes the recording process for Shadowboxing, which took place at Jon O’Brien’s studio in the mountains between L.A. and Joshua Tree. O’Brien’s The Music Box Studios in Idyllwild, California, provided the perfect environment to capture the sounds that Connolly needed.
Stay tuned for details on Shadowboxing, and please enjoy this gorgeous mini-set in the meantime.
This No Depression Session at AmericanaFest 2023 was made possible with support from AEA Ribbon Mics. Find previous No Depression Sessions at AmericanaFest here, and look for more in the coming weeks.