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Hannah Fury


Country of origin:

U.S.

Type of music generally:

Ethereal, Gothic, beautiful & fierce

Status:

Most recent release, "Not Sad" (single, 2015); most recent full-length release, Through the Gash (2007)

See also:

The MellowTraumatic/Hannah Fury site

Hannah Fury's Bandcamp page

CDBaby's Hannah Fury page

Comparisons:

A vocally restrained Tori Amos, a gothic Sarah Slean, a less gothic Jill Tracy, songwriting similar to early Kate Bush

Covers/own material:

Own, very occasional covers

General comments:

Hannah Fury's music is beautiful and dark. Her piano playing is much like Tori Amos's, but a bit less varied in style. Her vocals are much more restrained than Tori's—more often a whisper than a wail. Despite this, her vocals are still passionate—but more lethal than dramatic. She's managed to successfully create a very interesting mood—beautiful, dark, haunting. Sort of a "goth" Tori. Lyrically she's rather dark but evocative—not just depressing. Definitely worth checking out. (jjhanson@att.net)

Hannah Fury sounds like a dark Tori Amos. Her voice is beautiful and quite sweet, but don't be fooled by it...her lyrics are gloomy and can also be downright frightening at times. She is dark without being depressive or clichéd, something that makes her quite unique. Her haunting melodies can linger in your head for hours. (rioliv@pop-gw.homeshopping.com.br)

From the moment I first heard Hannah Fury's music I was stuck on it. Hannah Fury is like a Goth (yes, let's face it, this is the comparison she's going to get most often) Tori Amos—like "Hammer Horror" Kate Bush crossed with Tori Amos' piano work. She has the piano chops of "Tear in Your Hand" and "Icicle" which is the Tori sound she's most like. But the lyrics are different—utterly, delightfully eerie and haunted. Hannah Fury's is an individual melding of the Gothic with Tori-like emotionality and Kate-like storytelling. Yet she's her own artist, her own sound, her own atmosphere and flavour. (Neile)

Have fallen hard for Hannah Fury...she sounds like a berserker version of Tori Amos. (stjarnell@yahoo.com)

I borrowed the full-length discs early in the year and wouldn't give them back for months. They were so rich. Gothic etherealness. (Neal)

Discovery of The Year: Hannah Fury. While both of her records predate this year, they took a while to reach me—I won't let that happen again!—and they were certainly some of the most often played ones around here. (afries@zip.com.au)

Hannah Fury's music is like a liquid form of the darkest rose, one starting to mottle and smell a little too sweet. She has a waver in her voice like a ghost flickering in and out of vision or a slightly mad elderly aunt tipsy on absinthe, and the piano is gorgeous, but after a couple weeks with her album The thing that feels, charmingly packaged single meathook ep and Soul Poison ep, I'm realising that I now find it hard to listen to such sad and gothic music.
     For those with darker temperaments. (k_hester_k@yahoo.co.nz)

Recommended first album:

The Thing That Feels

Recordings:


Soul Poison ep

Release info:

1998—MellowTraumatic Recordings—MTR 001 CD

Availability:

The MellowTraumatic/Hannah Fury site

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Hannah Fury

Produced by:

Hannah Fury

Comments:

A very impressive debut EP. Only five songs, but they definitely show Hannah Fury's promise. From the opening lines of "The Necklace of Marie Antoinette": "I'll make it look like an accident, I'll make it look like he was trying to hurt me", I was immediately reminded of early Kate Bush—say "Hammer Horror" or "Coffee Homeground". Her voice is much more restrained, the keyboards more synthesized, and the opening track even includes some vocal processing, but the overall effect is beautiful but spooky. Yet Fury, despite writing about gothic themes, doesn't fall in the gothic trap of writing such bleak songs that they become unintentionally laughable. The second track, "Scars", is a haunting version of "Scarborough Fair", with the lyrics rewritten "Please don't go to Scarborough Fair, violets, roses, thistles and lies, he was not a true love of mine". The songs "Idaho" and "Eat the Dirt" are solid entries, but the final song, "The Last Piece of Cake" shows Fury at her best—beautiful piano, haunting lyrics, and angelic multi-layered vocals. (jjhanson@att.net)

This is a wonderful EP, a very promising start. "Scars" has become one of my big favorites...she just got the original "Scarborough Fair" and twisted it, transforming it into a dark, melancholic song. "The Necklace of Marie Antoinette" is one of the scariest songs I've heard in a way...it feels funny how sweetly she can sing, while underneath, the lyrics plot murder. (rioliv@pop-gw.homeshopping.com.br)

As everyone has already said, this is a strong debut, and is only slightly inferior to The Thing That Feels. I agree with Jeff that it is reminiscent of "Hammer Horror"-era Kate Bush—in fact, I think that is it's best comparison. Strong songwriting and vocals. Highly recommended. (Neile)

I've really been getting into this. Quiet intensity. I've been listening to Soul Poison a lot at work, and it is amazing. What she does with "Scarborough Fair" is mind-boggling. (neal)

The comment that brought Hannah Fury to my attention stated simply she was a Goth version of Tori Amos, and I repeat it here, because after all it did the trick—it lead to me ordering her disks. But I don't think it is very true. For starters, I don't really think of her as Goth. Gothic, Victorian—perhaps. As for resemblance to Tori, they are both women playing the piano, but beyond that, their paths diverge. Tori's songs, those that really matter are so intensely personal listening to them is much like attending some ritual sacrifice, blood and guts spilling everywhere. Soul Poison, on the other hand, is more like a book of Edgar Allan Poe's tales. It is certainly honest, but only because it makes no secret that these are tales told unashamedly for the purpose of evoking that delicious tingling feeling of fear and wonder running down your spine, not Tori-like public vivisection of her own psyche. The opener, "The Necklace of Marie Antoinette" is a perfect example, the tale of planned murder—her attraction to all things dark is clear, but I doubt the story is autobiographical.
     The next track, "Scars" turns out to be classic "Scarborough Fair", but the twist soon becomes clear: these are not the words I remember from Simon and Garfunkel! "Please don't go to Scarborough Fair/violets, roses, thistles and vines / Remember me, I am still here / He was not a true love of mine" she sings, but she seems to be saying, somewhat impatiently, "well, get over it already!" rather than pleading for forgiveness.
     "Idaho" touches on that classic dilemma: "and what if I loved you with all of my heart / and what if my love wasn't good enough?" she asks. It's a good question and one I can certainly relate to, but she doesn't arrive at any conclusions either, just leaving me wondering instead while she moves on to "Eat the Dirt", for another dose of darkness and inner turmoil: "Run from these hands if you know what's good for you / I can't control the things I do"....
     And so it went. It is a fine record, I felt those tingles in the right places and I enjoyed them. But it was the final track, "The Last Piece of Cake" that suddenly made me doubt my interpretation. It starts as another Gothic tale flirting with the dark side, story of a mother betrayed by her daughter, but then the story kind of just stops while she continues..."this makes me want to believe in heaven and angels...for mothers...and hunchbacks...and wolves / Please let me believe that she's happy... and safe... and warm...." It was only then it occurred to me it is after all possible that despite their over-the-top Gothic setting that darkness and pain and fear might be all too uncomfortably real.
     Or maybe not. Who knows? In the end, Hannah remains something of an enigma to me. But if it's true that a work of art is but a mirror held up to our faces, I think I flinched just a little at what I saw. (afries@zip.com.au)

The most difficult song for me is 'The last piece of cake', which seems to be about a mother and her surprise that someone would want to hurt her, 'least of all her daughter'. It reminds me of the chilling murder which ends the movie "Heavenly Creatures", one of the most heartbreaking deaths on film to me.
     "Idaho" is interesting as a musically violet gothic song set in a scorched brown landscape, with a traveller's frightened and increasingly hopeless questioning of their destination ("what if the sky in Idaho is black and dark?"). I hear "Eat the dirt" as the hungry end of her journey as it follows "Idaho" on the ep, but it is more likely about a different character what with all the blood drinking :) (k_hester_k@yahoo.co.nz)

I love love love Hannah Fury's Soul Poison. No, I don't have anything intelligent to say about it, I'll just gush, thank you. (JoAnn Whetsell)


The Thing That Feels

Release info:

2000—MellowTraumatic Recordings—MTR 002 CD

Availability:

The MellowTraumatic/Hannah Fury site

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Hannah Fury

Guest artists:

Brian Standefer—cello on 1 track
David Eastwood—bass guitar on 1 track

Produced by:

Hannah Fury

Comments:

Wow. On first listen I loved this album and it has continued to grow on me. I especially like the 5-song cycle based on Gregory Maguire's novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, but all the songs are hauntingly beautiful. My only complaint would be that her piano-style seems to get a bit repetitious—many of the tracks sort of blend together and don't really stand out from one another—but then again, there isn't a bad track on the album. This was in my top ten for the year. Great songs, great piano, great voice—beautiful moody music, goth without being overly dark, emotional without being over the top. (jjhanson@att.net)

A great follow-up to the EP, the album continues where the EP has left off. And again, I found myself liking all the songs, without exception. Beautiful, haunting and full of passion. (rioliv@pop-gw.homeshopping.com.br)

This is a disc I utterly obsessed on this year. The Thing that Feels is utterly amazing—particularly the section of songs based on Gregory Macguire's Wicked—the songs are really evocative of the feel of the novel for me and besides that, they're fine songs on their own. A strong collection and highly recommended for anyone who likes the idea of a Gothic Tori Amos. (Neile)

Very nice. Quintessential ecto in an early Tori Amos-style. (stjarnell@yahoo.com)

The songs based on Wicked: The life and times of the wicked witch of the west remind me of how miserable I became reading that book with the growing alienation of the dear green skinned girl, once passionate revolutionary, later hurting monkeys with her experiments. (k_hester_k@yahoo.co.nz)

Wonderful, especially the gorgeous piano, but I like Soul Poison better, more... gutsy? insidious? disturbed? More powerful, somehow, though this might be more beautiful. (JoAnn Whetsell)


meathook ep

Release info:

2001—MellowTraumatic Recordings

Availability:

Out of print

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended for Hannah Fury fans

Group members:

Hannah Fury

Produced by:

Hannah Fury

Comments:

This is an ep that contains two songs from The Thing That Feels, one of her own previously unrecorded songs, and three covers (of songs by Berlin, ABBA, and Daniel Johnston, all of which she turns into something miraculously her own). (Neile)

The meathook single actually came out this year, and when I made a list of just 2001 releases I thought were excellent, there were only about 7 and that single was on it. It contains excellent covers of Berlin's "The Metro" and Abba's "The Winner Takes It All". (Neal)


I Can't Let You In ep

Release info:

2003—MellowTraumatic Recordings—6 28740 64942 8

Availability:

Limited edition: see The MellowTraumatic/Hannah Fury site

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Hannah Fury—vocals, piano

Produced by:

Hannah Fury

Comments:

Even though half the tracks here are taken from The Thing That Feels, the 6 songs on I Can't Let You In work together as a complete album. 2 of the new songs complete the cycle inspired by the book Wicked, and the third, a solo piano piece used in a film, is available here in its full version. There's such a fullness to Hannah's music I often forget it's all made by one person. Perhaps it's her haunting background vocals, or the piano—passionate, but never heavy. If you've enjoyed her previous releases, you'll want to add I Can't Let You In to your collection. It's also a good introduction for those who haven't heard her music before. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Subterfuge, 2005

Release info:

2005—MellowTraumatic Recordings—MTR 005 CD DVD

Availability:

The MellowTraumatic/Hannah Fury site

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Hannah Fury—vocals, piano, drum programming

Guest artists:

David Eastwood—drum programming

Produced by:

Hannah Fury

Comments:

It's another beautiful package. I watched the video for "Carnival Justice (The Gloves Are Off) Part II". It's dark and haunting (surprise, surprise), just like the music. An alarming similarity to Kate in appearance, though the music goes on a different path. It's very whispery and dense. Clearly a lot to listen to in a small number of songs. (Neal)

The music is lovely, dark and haunting as Neal said, but more intensely so than her previous releases. In fact, stylistically it's far more different from her first album than any of the other eps were. The first song reminds me of Terami Hirsch's latest album, Entropy 29, but not so much the others. There's a lot to dig into in just 6 songs, so I haven't wrapped my head around it in just 2 listens, but I can definitely say it's good, very good. (JoAnn Whetsell)

I loved the video—it's lushly done, and suits the song well. The EP is delightful (hmm—that can't be the right word for music as dark and atmospheric as Hannah Fury's but that's what comes into my mind). I would never have thought of her covering "You Showed Me"—but it works. Whatever she does becomes her own. "Carnival Justice (The Gloves Are Off) Part II" uses a drum machine in a way that feels different from most of Hannah Fury's work, but I thought complements the other songs on this ep (well, as does the "You Showed Me" cover). Her other compositions on this collection sound very much like her previous work: dark lyrics, whispery, layered vocals, full of flickerings of light and darkness. (Neile)

Loved it. Spidery, shivery and quirky songs. Neat cover of "You showed me" also. (stjarnell@yahoo.com)

I am delighted to bring you my Top of the Year early this time: My CD of 2006 is...as yet unreleased CD by Hannah Fury!
     ...OK, so this sort of statements usually comes to bite one on the bum, but after hearing Subterfuge, I am confident I am going to love the full CD to bits.
     I was a little worried reading other posts about her new sound—an old favourite changing sound usually spells trouble for me. Thankfully, this is still Hannah. Sure, the sound is now more lush and electronic, more studio-tweaked than her previous records, but there is still plenty of old tricks. The voice, the writing—that's classic Hannah, thank goodness.
     Her records are like a swamp; step in and they slowly but surely drag you deeper in... I hope Hannah, with her apparent love of Victorian gothic tales, would like this comparison :) (afries@zip.com.au)

When we last heard from Ms. Fury, she set her dark tales against romantic piano balladry. Her voice was low and delicate, and she added a dark glamour to the girl and a piano subgenre.
     Her new 6 song ep, Subterfuge," is something else entirely. There are elements of the romantic piano pieces, but they are drowned in claustrophobic loops and drum programs. Her whispery voice is augmented with echoes and overdubbed screams and moans, and she sing-speaks some of the words. Organs and weirdly tuned synths compete with the piano. The gallows humor quotient is upped: one of her couplets is "My heart is like the Moulin Rouge/All lit up in subterfuge." The new, dense production is perfectly suited to these tales of despair, self loathing and ennui. It's a kaleidoscope of sound and imagery. Fury's new sound is more like spooky experimentalism of Jarboe (Swans) than like Tori Amos. Beauty hides in the jagged shards. (ethereal_lad@livejournal.com)


Through the Gash

Release info:

2007—Mellow/Traumatic—MTR 006 CD

Availability:

The MellowTraumatic/Hannah Fury site

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Hannah Fury—vocals, all instruments, except as listed below

Guest artists:

David Eastwood—drum programming, bass guitar on track 2

Produced by:

Hannah Fury

Comments:

Hannah Fury's new CD, Through The Gash, explores the dark side of the female heart in a variety of guises. The major theme here is revenge, swiftly followed by self-doubt, all shot through with her trademark dark humor. The first track has our heroine pushing a man out of the window, while sashaying! It is followed by "No Man Alive," which describes a shrew archetype. Temptresses, and nascent Ophelias in throes of madness populate these songs, dispensing "carnival justice" to errant lovers and ponder romantic existentialism. (The vagina dentate pun of the title is fully intended). The self-produced CD weaves carnival themes, sound effects, elaborately orchestrated keyboards, and layers of Fury's voice(s) into a seamless, claustrophobic whole. She croons with a delicate mezzo-soprano, screams wordlessly, whispers sotto voce, turning her libretto into a sonic tapestry that's densely layered and impossible to separate from the musical aspects. The elegant lyric sheet, filled with twisted bon mots, is much needed. Fury's music veers from rococo Kate Bush pieces ("Carousel") to the weird avant pop of Coco Rosie ("Carnival Justice, the Gloves are Off" is mostly spoken word) to gentle ballads ("You Had Me"). Fury dares you to go through the gash, and come out unharmed. (ethereal_lad@livejournal.com)

There's something darkly magical about Hannah Fury's delicate and eerie, whispery yet percussive and powerful songs. I also love to give close attention to the fascinating and trippy details of the individual sounds she uses to construct the overall sound of her songs. They reward attention and so does the wash of them when you just listen to the blend. Haunting music. (Neile)


Further info:

Write: MellowTraumatic, Post Office Box 477, Austin, TX 78767, USA


Thanks to Jeffrey Hanson and JoAnn Whetsell for work on this entry.

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Entry last updated 2016-05-29 18:56:05.
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