Hannah Rose Kessler – I Really Wanna (self-released)

Hannah Rose Kessler – I Really Wanna (self-released)

Sultry, smokey, and oozing old-school glamour the new single from Hannah Rose Kessler is I Really Wanna and it is out now. 

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Hannah Rose KesslerArtist: Hannah Rose Kessler
Track: I Really Wanna
Label: Self-released
Released: 31 May 2020
Find it: Bandcamp | Spotify

You know how it goes: a late night into an early morning with time marked out by the sticky-lipsticked-rimmed empties, a bare brick and low ceiling space shrouded in forbidden smoke, and a simultaneous desire to both fade into the background of an ordinary life and to break free of every expectation and burn bright and live fast. Yeah, you know how it goes.

So does Hannah Rose Kessler as on latest single I Really Wanna she brings sultry sass in spades while realising life is far less likely to be rags to riches than the popular storylines we’re fed would have us believe. Languid the delivery may be but the affront is real: scraping by is the destiny you’ve been given and the hero’s choice is about acceptance not resistance. Musically the old-school glamour vocal is sparsely punctuated bass notes and a melody which will stay with you long after the song has stopped.

‘Some people are made for living / And some will just survive’

The track is the first release since 2018 album Invincible Beautiful Dangerous and plays confidently with melody and theme in the same way. That album showcased more of the influences on Kessler. Big legacies and single visions to look up to with PJ Harvey here, Patti Smith there. This single harks back to the chanteuse though – and what makes it all the more exciting is it can evoke the feel and sound without giving up any of the agency the genre might suggest.

Songs like this always sit somewhat awkwardly for DIY performers like Kessler: all the swagger and the retro feel which could be so loved by the masses and yet probably heard mainly by a scene where the lack of obvious edge in the sound sets it aside from peers. Coming from a place of ennui is as valid as coming from one of anger in music and Kessler shows here she is a master of the catchy melody, the insolent lyric, and a won’t be contained to a singular style in her songwriting. As well as being a brilliant slow-burn of a single that makes her one of the most exciting musicians around, and a songwriter who shouldn’t go unnoticed much longer.

Find Hannah Rose Kessler: Facebook | Instagram | Bandcamp | Spotify

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Sarah Lay

Sarah Lay is editor of Popoptica.
A long-standing music journalist she's also co-founder of independent record label Reckless Yes, an author of novels, and when not messing around with words and music, a digital strategist.
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