"Austin" Premiers on NPR Music

By Sophie Kemp

In a new video for Hannah Gill & The Hours' "Austin," the 18-year-old singer walks around the city's streets followed by a brass band. She's fuming; she'd thought one thing about the way love was supposed to turn out for her, but instead she's wound up with betrayal and heartbreak. "Austin" isn't just the name of the city, but also the name of a lover who's wronged her. She takes to the streets and broods alone in a bar shouting his name: "Austin / You were my first lover / Why'd you say you love me if I meant nothing to you." The video pays impeccable homage to the '50s, from the outfits Gill wears to the décor inside the bar in which part of it is set.

Gill is a belter, and when she sings, she sings. In "Austin," her voice is booming and scathing. Along with co-songwriter and guitarist Brad Hammonds, Gill gives the song the kind of vibe that lets you imagine it playing out in the background of an action movie. But in an email to NPR Music, Gill writes that the song was, surprisingly enough, originally inspired by a wedding: "Austin was written the day of a wedding we played where the groom was named Austin. Brad [Hammonds] and I wanted to tie in the city Austin with the groom's name and went for it. We wrote it in like 20 minutes and then played their wedding that night."

Hannah Gill & The Hours' "Austin" comes from the band's self-released debut EP, The Water.

Read the original story here.

An Interview With Hannah Gill + The Hours About "The Water"

By Leah Adams

Hannah Gill & the Hours is a group is fronted by vocal powerhouse and songwriter Hannah Gill. Their EP The Water” was just released in May.

“The Water” is comprised of songs inspired by Gill’s transition from living in a small town to New York City. It is a collection about embracing life’s adventures, breaking free from society’s mold and finding personal freedom.

Learn more about Hannah + The Hours in the following All Access interview:

Thanks so much for your time today! So, how’s the year treating you all so far? What were some of the highlights of 2015?

The year has been pretty amazing! We have been playing loads of shows to help gain momentum before the EP Release. Since performing is probably my favorite part of the music process I would say it has been a good year. J As for highlights regarding 2015 I would have to say my graduation from high school in May of 2015 was a huge one. It marked the moment where I went from a part time musician to a full time recording artist. Another highlight was when I moved to NYC in September. It is crazy to think that all of this has happened in a little under a year.

Hannah, growing up, did you always know that you wanted to be a musician and be in a band? Can you talk about how you think moving from a small town to New York has influenced you as an artist today?

Ever since I was a kid I knew I wanted to sing for a living. The feeling I get when I am on stage is so indescribable all I ever wanted to do was replicate that feeling. I think coming from a small town has made me more modest in a way. To move from a town with 15 musicians to a town with 150,000 really puts things into perspective.

What was it like making that big move?

It was pretty smooth actually. I knew I was bound for the city for a few years prior so the move itself came somewhat effortlessly.

How did this group first come together? Why do you think you all work so well together?

It really started when I teamed up with my friend Brad Hammonds, I was invited to record a few songs at his studio (As a favor for his father) and after hearing me sing we teamed up and began writing and performing together. Brad on guitar and myself on vocals. As a few years passed we really started to develop our sound and found other musicians we really clicked with. Forming the band was incredibly organic. I think we all work so well together because of how similar yet different our personalities are. Of course we all love to make music, but the slight differences in how we go about it make us a great team! We are constantly bouncing ideas off of each other.

How would you describe your sound to someone that has never heard it before?

Soul Pop! The outer shell of the EP is very pop, but the more you start to analyze the tunes you find that the bones have a strong soul, jazz, and blues feel.

Next month, you will release your EP, “The Water.” What does that feel like? Where did this inspiration for these songs come from? How do you all coordinate on songwriting?

The inspiration for most of the songs revolves around my move to NYC and the changes it brought. I guess my newfound freedom in the city was good inspiration! I worked closing with Brad, and my friends John White, andRich DeCicco while writing the lyrics for songs like Austin and The Water. Lyrically it is great to have a creative group of people available to bounce ideas off of.

Let’s talk about your current hit single, “Change In Blue.” Where did this song come from? What inspired it?

The song was really inspired by my move to New York City; I had all of this newfound freedom. Because of that, one night I suddenly had this huge wave of confidence. The type of feeling that really only hits you every couple of years, where you just feel like you can do anything, and you just feel super confident and super empowered by the idea of what you’re doing. I had that overwhelming sensation, and I had to write a song about it. I think the whole song is that feeling that you get when you know that you’re about to do something life changing. And realizing the freedom in that is something absolutely amazing.

 
...the type of feeling that really only hits you every couple of years, where you just feel like you can do anything...
 

 

How have your recent shows been going? Where have been some favorite venues and crowds to play for?

They have been going really well!! My favorite venues we have played in the past month or so have to be bothMexicali Live (Opening for Sister Sparrow) and Gramercy Theater (Opening for Kris Allen). The venues themselves were beautiful; the staff was kind (which is always a huge plus) and the crowds just wanted to have a good time! I love playing for people who just like to get up and dance!

Who are some of your favorite artists? Who continues to inspire your sound? Who would you love to work with in the future?

Oh gosh, I love a lot of musicians but my favorites at the moment have to be Leon Bridges, Michael Kiwanunka, Cake, Billie Holiday, Chet Baker, Johnny Flynn, and Melanie Martinez.

As for people who inspired and continue to inspire my sound I have to stick with my classics. Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, Billie Holiday, and Nina Simone. These artists have moved me both emotionally and musically and will always have a place in my heart.

If I could work with anyone, I would love to do a collaboration with Hozier. I was a fan of his back when his music wasn’t on ITunes and you could give a donation (in Euros) for his Take Me To Church EP on his website. I even commented on his FB early on soliciting feedback for a song of mine and he responded saying, “Talent well beyond your years, keep up the good work.” I don’t know… It would be a really fun story to tell don’t you think?

At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope listeners are taking away from your songs?

I just want to make something that people enjoy. Whether they laugh or cry, sing or dance. I just want to move people with my music the same way that my idols did to me. Music is one of the few things in life that truly connects everyone, and all I want to do is connect.

Read the original interview here.

"Something of a Revelation..."

"Hannah Gill & The Hours at Sellersville Theater, Sellersville, PA, May 27, 2016" Review by Frank Valish

Listening to Hannah Gill is something of a revelation. From the moment the funky horns drop and Gill's classically soulful voice starts belting out "Austin," the first song on Hannah Gill & The Hours' The Water EP, it's like 50 years of musical history has just evaporated. Like Stax soul remade for the 21st century. Like "Son of a Preacher Man" as covered by a bigger badass and with psychedelic guitar break. Welcome Hannah Gill & The Hours. This won't be the last you hear of them.

Gill's backstory goes something like this. Growing up on the Chesapeake Bay of Eastern Maryland, Gill knew she had a talent for music. After winning her middle school talent show, Gill's proud pop showed video of her performance to some coworkers, one who had a son with a New York City recording studio. Brad Hammonds, a 20-some year veteran of various jazz and rock combos, and owner of said studio, offered to help. Long story short: For Gill's 16th birthday, her father took her to New York City, shopped FAO Schwartz and visited Hammonds' studio. And the rest is, as they say, history.

"Having that studio, you get a lot of people who come in at that age and it's like, 'Alright, we'll Melodyne them and they'll come out feeling great about themselves,'" says Hammonds in the green room of the historic Sellersville Theater where he, Gill, and The Hours are set to perform later that evening. "It's an exciting thing. You're giving them a CD and a gift. With Hannah, it was a whole different thing."

Within minutes of Gill's entering the studio, it was apparent the girl could sing. Gill and Hammonds soon after began a collaboration that culminated first in an EP of Hammonds' songs and a pop-oriented single, "Silver Screens," all while Gill, still in high school, made round trips from Maryland to New York to play gigs. As the pair continued to work together, Gill's predilection for the sounds of Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone, and Otis Redding came to the fore.

"My grandma listened to a lot of Smokey Robinson, Otis Redding, and Aretha Franklin," says the 18-year-old Gill of her ageless taste in music. "We'd sit in the craft room and paint and build birdhouses and listen to that kind of music. It was something I was drawn to. I like when you can hear the emotion in someone's voice."

Capitalizing upon Gill's affinities, she and Hammonds put together a horn-heavy band and recorded The Water, this time combining Hammonds' songs with Gill's own compositions and collaborations from the pair. Think Amy Winehouse without the drug addiction or Adele without the soccer moms.

Having graduated from high school in 2015, Gill, currently at the end of a gap year, decided to pursue music full time before committing to a college, and she is about to extend her post-high school break another year. As Hammonds says with a laugh, "My goal is, we fail if Hannah goes to college."

A short 10 minutes before show time, interview wrapping up, Gill and her band-Hammonds (guitar), Jason DiMatteo (bass), Chris Eddleton (drums), Wayne Tucker (trumpet), Darius Jones (trombone), and Andrew Gutauskas (sax)-get ready to take the Sellersville Theater stage opening for Louisiana party band Brother Josephus and the Love Revolution. It's only the ensemble's fifth show ever, and on this night they are set to blow Brother Josephus back to the land of creole and gumbo.

Opening with the aforementioned "Austin" and segueing into the brooding, jazzy "Change in Blue," the latter inspired by Gill's move to New York, Hannah Gill & The Hours immediately establishes a presence, the room unfortunately only half full of mostly older patrons awaiting the main act. Gill's voice is as powerful and potent as on record and the newly formed horn trio provides brilliant, if slightly understated, accompaniment.

"Silver Screens," the pre-The Water pop-oriented tune credited simply to Hannah Gill, opens in traditional bass, guitar, drums, and voice format until muted horns enter for the second verse, lending Gill's pop ballad a more traditionally soulful tone. Another pre-Water piece, "I Feel Awake" follows, mashed up with Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy," a combination that is seamless in its cohesion and wonderful in its execution.

The best adaptation from Gill's earlier years and the greatest indication of the power of her current ensemble on this night is in the big horns that return to drive "Medicine," a song from Gill's initial Hammond-written 2014 EP. Live, the band turns the record's tentative march into a show-stopping trumpet-led stomp.

Ending the show with "The Water" and "You and I," both from the new EP, Hannah Gill & The Hours showcased itself as an up-and-coming group not to be missed. Gill's stage presence is as engaging as her voice is commanding. Her horn section, while muted at times on this night, showed propensity for full throttle force, something that suits Gill's powerful pipes quite well.

One imagines this show, an opener's slot of 30 minutes on this night, as a 2-hour barn-burning jam, a live onslaught to rival the best of classic soul. The potential is there, as clear as day. Now just wait for the inevitable.

Read the original interview here.

"Change in Blue" Premiered in Teen Vogue

"This Unexpectedly Empowering Song Will Make You Feel Like You Can Take on the World: Hannah Gill and the Hours's 'Change in Blue' will be your new anthem" by Isis Briones

Did you just graduate? Will you be taking on a new job or summer internship in a city far away from home? Are you just trying to get though this wild thing called life?! Whatever you're going through, 18-year-old powerhouse vocalist, Hannah Gill, and her band, The Hours, have just the song that will make you feel absolutely invincible.

The bold sultry vibe of their latest single “Change In Blue” is a mix of different genres that will instantly have you hooked. From hints of pop to rock and contemporary blues, the band’s sound is unlike anything you’ve ever heard before. To give you a better idea, Teen Vogue is exclusively premiering a brand-new lyric video of the song today.

"When I first moved to the city I had a lot of freedom. I had never experienced that way of living before and I think the concept really hit me in a way I did not expect," Hannah told Teen Vogue of her initial experience in New York City. "One night out of nowhere I had this overwhelming sense of confidence caused by this newly-found freedom. It was almost like I could do or say anything, almost like some nature high. I felt like the world was mine to conquer."

To convey the message, they took a simpler approach and drew inspiration from the most dominant force of all: nature. As for the gorgeous visual effects? Hannah added that "by having the double exposed imaging you never get a clear view of my face. It adds to the intensity of the song."

The track is part of the group's debut EP, The Water and is guaranteed to empower you no matter what, especially if you sing along to her strong voice and powerful lyrics — which including major howling at the moon. Judging by this track alone, it's beyond exciting to see what's to come in the official album.

Read the full article here.

Hannah Gill & The Hours: Inspirer Exclusive Interview

"Hannah Gill and The Hours: 'Mass Energy is So Inspiring'" by Desarae Gabrielle

On Hannah Gill & The Hours’ debut EP The Water, 18-year-old Hannah Gill sings mostly about people and events that have impacted and resonated within her throughout her young but varied life – the lyrics on the album encourage the listener to embrace life’s adventures, an ode to finding one’s personal freedom and individualism.

Raised in a small community in Maryland, Hannah’s dream to sing professionally took shape early on during her teen years – performing locally to fine tune her vocal ability. Hannah took the opportunity to study guitar in high school, a process that also helped her discover her natural songwriting talent – effortlessly turning poems and short stories into beautiful and moving lyrics. Her move from Maryland to New York City inspired many songs on The Water.

Hannah Gill & The Hours is a collaboration duo consisting of Hannah Gill and guitarist-songwriter, Brad Hammonds. Though born and brought up in different eras of music, Hannah and Brad manage to seamlessly incorporate their passion for jazz, soul, blues and a rocky-pop in a cohesive and complimentary way. On the heels of the release of their first album, we spoke to Hannah about the songwriting process behind The Water, her working relationship with Brad, her passion for music, and more.

Your EP, The Water, was inspired by your move to New York City. What was the songwriting process like? Did you start writing before your move or was it cultivated as the big life change took place?

The songwriting was very sporadic. Some songs like “The Water” had full verses, but no chorus months before I moved to the city. These half songs were really only complete after getting to collaborate with other skilled musicians such as Brad Hammonds, John White, and Rich DeCicco. On the flip side, songs like “Change In Blue” I wrote in about 15 minutes at 4 a.m. on a Thursday! All of the songs came very organically, I hate when an idea sounds forced.

What song do you connect with most off of The Water, and why?

I connect with “Change In Blue” the most purely because it related so closely to my life at the time. Most songs I write are based on another person or an event halfway around the world, but “Change In Blue” was the first song I truly modeled around my life. “Change In Blue” was all about my newfound freedom in New York, and now every time I sing those lyrics I am reminded of this amazing opportunity I have been given.

Your album sends a message that we should all embrace life’s adventures and break free from society’s mold while finding personal freedom. Has it been easy finding your personal freedom or has it been a challenge?

I have found some personal freedom in my writing, yes, but I think my true freedom came from finding myself. I was constantly bullied in middle school because of my eccentric personality, so much so that I had to switch schools. Once I was where people accepted me for who I was, I really got to begin to grow as a person. Finding freedom, as well as myself, along the way. By the end of high school I had a tight grip on who I was as a person and I promised myself I would never let anyone change that part of me. I think because of this realization I have really been able to find inspiration in life, which, in turn, shines through in my writing.

Your sound is very retro ‘70s rock with a mix of blues and soul — did this come naturally or was it intentional?

I think it happened naturally! I have always been a big soul and blues fan. I think because I grew up listening to musicians like Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin that blues feel will always shine through in my music.

You realized you wanted to sing professionally at a young age — not many people are able to find their passions and professional goals so early in life. What was your ‘aha’ moment in regards to realizing singing and motivating people with your voice was your path in life?

I honestly never had an ‘aha’ moment. I knew I was going to be a performer in one way or another. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. But, when I began working with my guitar player Brad Hammonds, that is when I really saw a path to performing. With his help I was able to start turning my dreams into realities.

You’re a big fan of classic rock — do you feel it’s molded you as an artist? What artists or bands inspire you from the golden age of music? If you could work with any of them — who would you want to collaborate with?

I know Brad is way more into classic rock than I am. Although I do love to crank up the radio when Van Halen or Cream comes on! I am mainly inspired by classic soul/blues singers. Musicians like Etta James and Van Morrison really get my creative juices flowing. And if I could work with anyone from the classic rock genre, and we meananyone… Freddie Mercury and I would sing the most kickass ballad of all time.

You’re going to embark on your first cross-country tour as Hannah Gill & The Hours soon. Are you nervous?

I am a little nervous, but honestly more about the traveling than the performing! I can’t wait to play for all sorts of new fans. I will just be sure to pack lots of Dramamine for the long car rides!

What’s the best advice you’ve been given by a fellow female artist? What advice would you give?

I always like to say, “ No one cares about what you are doing more than you.” That means if you are determined to make something happen, then make it happen. If it is your dream, don’t expect someone to do it for you. Oh, and have fun! You are doing what you love, and that is something to be proud of.

Who inspires you in your day to day life?

Oh gosh, honestly I don’t think it is a single person who inspires me. I think the pulse of the city is what really gets to me. Knowing that there are millions of people in New York, all trying to make their dreams come true. That type of mass energy is so inspiring.

Hannah Gill & The Hours’ debut EP, The Water, was released on May 13th, 2016. You can purchase the album on iTunes by following this link.

Keep up with Hannah Gill & The Hours on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Read the original interview here.

"Silver Screens" Premiered in Wall Street Journal

By Eric. R. Danton

Hannah Gill would be the first to tell you that she doesn’t have the broadest perspective when it comes to romance, but the 18-year-old singer took a crack at writing about it anyway on her song “Silver Screens.” Gill premieres a video for the tune today on Speakeasy.

It’s a somber track, with moody and atmospheric keyboards surrounding a full, emotive voice that sounds remarkably self-assured for a singer who’s only been making music professionally for a few years. Inspired by videos PJ Harvey has made “with just a camera and her ‘thing,’” Gill says she and her collaborators shot the clip in one night in New York City, using a subway station and the streets of Manhattan as a backdrop. Clay Patrick McBride directed.

“I had three grown men running around me at one point in front of the Flatiron Building,” Gill says by email. “I had to try my hardest not to lose it! It is such a sad song but the process of creating the music video was so much fun.”

She wrote “Silver Screens” about an old-Hollywood depiction of epic romance, she says. “I just finished high school so my subject matter on the topic is somewhat limited, but I am still hopeful of the possibility,” she says.

The song came out as a single earlier this month, and it was one of five tracks on “I Feel Awake,” an EP that Gill released in January. It was her second EP, following a self-titled effort in 2014.

What do you think of the video for “Silver Screens?” Leave your thoughts in the comments.

For more music news, follow @erdanton.

Read the full article here: http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2015/09/28/hannah-gill-explores-new-york-in-silver-screens-video-exclusive/

Hannah Gill Dubbed the "Future of Music"

"These Young Female Artists are the Future of Music" by Molly Shores and Dianna Augustine

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Hannah Gill
Something that Florence and The Machines have brought to the forefront of music today is the alto female singer, which evokes such a different emotion than younger or higher-pitched voices. I hope that her prevalence will pave the way for Hannah Gill whose voice sits in the same register as Florence, but also produces such unique phrasing when coupled with the lyrics (that she wrote), and backed by a band who favors key-shifts leaning toward heroic. Her music is empowering, motivating, with a touch of daunting; as if to suggest ‘you’re amazing, can you handle that?’

Her most recent EP released was I Feel Alive (January 20). When she was featured on GuitarWorld.com, they said “Gill’s vocal sophistication conveys deep emotion without resorting to histrionics or autotune synthesized vocals.” This is a four-track EP (with an alternate recording of “I Feel Alive”).

The full article is available here:

http://shutter16.com/these-young-female-artists-are-the-future-of-music/