New Zealand singer, Hannah Howes’ is best known for her ‘compelling’ voice resonating with ‘sumptuous soul‘, and has been compared to ‘Catpower with shades of Feist’. Tagged a ‘Troubadour’ and a ‘Genius’ for her ability to pen evocative lyrics brimming with poetry and philosophy and her collaborations with an incredible ensemble of musicians, her last album ‘Candy’ was reviewed as:

‘anything but disposable sugary pop, rather a sweet mellow and intelligent offering’ - New Zealand Musician

An offering which has found its way into the live festival and boutique music scene in her home country, Japan, South East Asia, the United Kingdom and Europe. Hannah’s music bridges political, folk, reggae and soul genres with ease and her primary accompanist Ben Lemi adds complexity to her songs. While their music has the ability to inspire and soothe, their live performance is ‘captivating’ and should not be missed.

‘She has been labelled a ‘sleepy lioness’ not only for her stage presence but also her clearly articulated philosophies and dreamy lyrics’ - Critic Magazine

Howes’ has toured New Zealand over a dozen times, performing up to twenty dates at a time. She has billed at most major New Zealand festivals including Soundsplash, Parihaka International Peace Festival, Riverside Festival, Rippon Afterparty, Kaikoura Roots Festival, Wellington Summer Series and many more. In 2004 she was scouted as an ‘alternative diva’ for BMG NZ but the recording was never made and a rewarding independent career forged instead. Hannah has produced three albums, distributed in New Zealand by Rhythmethod Ltd. In 2009 Hannah played a series of shows in Japan, and returned in 2011 for a second tour and to record with ‘Apple Paint Factory’ in Tokyo.

Intelligent, ambitious, unpretentious… Howes speaks to the heart, brain, soul’ - Dunedin Fringe

Howes’ first partial world tour began 2011. In May she wowed audiences in Japan’s elusive underground music scene, brought down the house as a soloist between rock acts in Malaysia and tested her political songs on pop-cover focused Singapore. In July of the same year, Hannah Howes was joined by multi-instrumentalist Ben Lemi for the European leg of the tour with back to back dates in England, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Switzerland, France and the Channel Islands, offering lucky audience members a tantalising taste of deep New Zealand. Between 2011 and 2012 Hannah also performed in Spain, Basque Country, Portugal returned with Ben Lemi for a series of shows in Berlin and the UK.

‘Compelling singer and storyteller’ - Dominion Post

Beginning her musical career in 2004 Hannahs early achievements were founded in Dunedin’s reggae- dub scene and she wrote a number of electronic tracks with ‘Ecophonik’. Their track ‘Secret’ soared to top ten status on NZ independent radio charts, along with her first album ‘Patchwork Quilt’ and subsequent album ‘Live at Bodega’ which gained her the reputation as ‘the inventor of folk-dub’. Recorded in 2004 ‘Patchwork Quilt’ was co-produced by Zuvuya’s Matt Eddy giving it a foothold in roots and dub. Additional instrumentation and engineering was completed by Warren Maxwell and the album was mastered by Mike Gibson. ’Live at Bodega’ captures an improvised live show in Wellington, combining the talents of Yair Katz, Francesca Mountfort (who Hannah met the same day while busking) and Aidan Mills’ engineering.

‘Sumptuous soul and multi-layered to the beat back-up’ - Groove Guide

In 2006 Hannah Howes moved to Wellington- New Zealands premier hub of roots, jazz and soul music, where she performed with some of New Zealands most respected artists from the country, political, reggae, folk and world music scenes. In 2009 she produced and recorded, ‘Candy’, her third album, at The Surgery with award winning engineer, Lee Prebble and musicians: Ben Wood, Myele Manzanza, Peter Hill, King Homeboy, Ariana Tikao, Rio Hemopo, Alan Starrett, John Egenes, Dayna Sanerivi, Maz Hermon, Daisy Howes and Alistair Fraser. ‘Candy’ was mastered by Don Bartley at Benchmark Mastering in Australia and has reached airwaves in various pockets throughout the world.

‘Her song ‘Candy’ had the effect of dragging everyone out of my office space into my office wanting to know who it was, and that is a rare thing. Brilliant… She’s Genius.’ - Radio NZ National

 


 

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