"Little old me?"
Having broken a piece of equipment - a microphone cable - Hannah Read's response was indicative of the power she wields. Lifting her arms over her head to flex, Read laughs, but her strength is more preternatural than can be understood in the physical realm.
When I talk about Lomelda, I lose the ability to make sense. Every musical theme is overflowing with significance. Every word weighs down upon the listener while also holding them up. Even moments of silence are heard loudly. Oxymorons are generally what I resort to but I will do my best to articulate my thoughts. (Read my attempt at describing Thx in my list of favorite albums of 2017)
Her music contains a rare warmth, like a whisper upon skin, that holds far more weight than the air that carries it. Covering themes of existence, human connection, and time, Thx is an exploration of life's winding and seemingly directionless path. Each track a streetlight, guiding listeners on their road to purpose and beauty through an ephemeral landscape.
Based in doubt and near-certainty, Read's ruminations are lucidly aware while swallowing the fear of the unknown. She is one of today's more articulate philosophers in the music world.
The first time I saw Hannah Read perform was last September at a house show in DC. The night was magical, and almost in a cosmic way, led me to cross paths with two beautiful strangers. Following the show, Hannah drew the three of us.
On January 28th, the three angels she illustrated drove on rainy interstates to Richmond, VA to see Lomelda at Strange Matter.
Playing songs from both of her albums, (three if you count Forever), Read masterfully curated a poignant evening. The band lineup included a newly added synth, to color in the lines drawn up by drummer, Andrew Stevens, and Hannah on guitar + vocals.
Local band, Blushface, also performed that night. They were a delightful pop rock quartet, with songs that feel like the soundtrack to a Virginia summer night. (Fellow Richmonders, Mangoux, were the first opener but we didn't get there in time to see them.)
While buying a cup of coffee for a nervous driver, we all agreed we would listen to strictly dancey pop music on our way back up to Baltimore.
...The first two albums we played were Thx and 4E.