Click the link, load the HD version of the video, use the full screen option, sit back, enjoy and try not to fall in love. – Something like this was what I sent to some of my music loving friends via email a few months ago, together with the link to a video I had just stumbled over.
… that is how the first post on NeverMindTheBuzzkills started. The video in question was that of a young English singer, busking in the streets of what I later learned was Leeds, doing a phenomenal cover version of Leonhard Cohen’s Hallelujah. The video was beautifully shot, not even uploaded to the girl’s own YouTube channel, where at the time you could still see her do cover songs and some early original material in her bedroom. I had found the video (and sent friends those emails mentioned above) months before this first post on NMTB. I had even written about the singer before – on the blog that preceded NMTB. So that first post on NeverMindTheBuzzkills wasn’t the first time and it certainly wasn’t the last time I ever wrote about Hannah Trigwell.
The second NMTB post was actually about young Hannah Trigwell as well – a review of her single Headrush, which had come out the same day. ‘Criminally underrated’ is what I called her back then. Today, I’d say she is still underrated, but thanks to the success she has seen since, I wouldn’t call it ‘criminally’ anymore. The video for Headrush, which followed a little while after the release of the single, was a magnificent affair. Each frame a painting. Sadly, today it is set to ‘private’ on YouTube. One has to wonder why. Then followed her new YouTube channel, under Hannah’s full name, and the overall quality of the videos skyrocketed. But to this day, some of my favourite covers Hannah has done can be found on what is now called Hannah TV, her vlogging channel. Like the unfortunately truncated cover of Tracy Chapman’s Fast Car, Counting Crows’ Colourblind or Ed Sheeran’s The A Team.
Now, Hannah does more than just covers, and some of her original material – like said Headrush – is great in its own right. But, boy, does the lady shine when it comes to covering other artists’ songs. For example, it is the mark of a talented cover artists when they make you enjoy a song you usually don’t like. Lady Gaga? Not my thing. Hannah’s rendition of Born This Way, however, is fantastic (curiously enough, this video is also no longer available). Beyonce’s Best Thing I Never Had? Don’t really need it. Hannah’s version? Love it.
On October 11th, 2012, Hannah announced that she had signed with 3 Peace Records, the label founded by the members of the US pop rock trio of brothers Alejandro, Daniel and Fabian Manzano, better known as Boyce Avenue, whom Hannah had previously (and since) supported on their tours in Great Britain and Continental Europe. Around that time also came a new version of the Leonard Cohen cover, which has since become her most viewed video (four million views at the time of writing).
Plenty of more great cover songs followed on her main channel. Among the best are phenomenal versions of The Lumineers’ Ho Hey, Passenger’s Let Her Go (with Boyce Avenue) and Emeli Sande’s Next To Me.
It took a while for new original material to be released. When it did come, the previous acoustic pop from the Hold My Heart EP – already turned more towards the pure pop on the Not Enough EP – had basically fully transitioned to straight pop. The song Hurricane off the pop EP Rectify got a beautiful video treatment, but the songs on this EP are certainly a big stylistic change from previous original material and there is a big difference to the wonderful acoustic covers Hannah does so well – most of which you can get on her various Cover Sessions EPs.
High production value; check. Well produced pop track with a higher mainstream affinity – check and check. But it also makes an extraordinary talent more interchangeable. Most of Hannah’s fans seem to be fine with the direction she is taking. For the others, there still are the acoustic covers. And it will be interesting to see how things develop from here on out with this talented and, as I said, still underrated English singer-songwriter.