Words by Ed King
On Friday 20th September, Hannah Brown releases her latest single – the somewhat troublingly titled, ‘Hate Myself’. Released via Brown’s own social media you can grab yourself a stop, look and listen courtesy of Soundcloud – click here or link below/ablum artwork to you left.
Launching off with a pop punk riff that makes me think of skateboards and summer, Brown’s latest single sounds more like a trailer for an American coming of age melodrama than a piece of emotional seppuku.
It’s fun, it’s vibrant; it has that slight staccato chord progression that makes me look back at my teenage years and sigh into my shoulder. But don’t be fooled, this single is entrails on the floor with a wry ‘yes, it’s your fault’ look as the last breath becomes a rattle… a fuck you, plainly put. And one that should make all those erstwhile school ‘friends’ wait nervously for the name drop.
But this isn’t a song about revenge, it’s about strength. ‘Hate Myself’, it’s quite clear; Brown is shining the light bright in her own face and casting shadows of the past that she wants kept rightfully behind her, where shadows belong. Lasting three and a half minutes, and bouncing through trauma and trouble, the song holds no punches. Especially when to the gut. It even proudly declares in its press release: ‘Hannah begins to let go of the power others previously had over the way she viewed herself, breaking the cycle that had bound her for years.’ So yeah, just in case it wasn’t clear before… fuck you.
‘Hate Myself’ continues Brown’s tradition of visceral lyrics and public therapy. But with no doom, gloom, or long sleeves in summertime to save an awkward downwards glance – this is empowerment. ‘Hate Myself’ doesn’t wallow in self-pity, it takes the bile, gives it a name, then throws it in the right direction. It’s a clarion call for the right of the righteous, as the chorus begins and ends: “I already hate myself, I don’t need anyone else… I don’t want to hate myself anymore.”
Brown is one of the more accomplished and hard working artists in the Midlands, having built her initial six string reputation into a ferocious full band sound; her material is valid and exciting. And fresh. Recent singles ‘So Should You’ and ‘Further Away’ have continued the melodic rock vibe from her awesome 2016 EP, Better for This – with melody and strong vocals leading throughout her work. And Brown’s live performances relay something so special it just can’t be recorded.
‘Hate Myself’ has been described as the single that has taken Brown ‘from folk singer songwriter to indie rocker’, and it’s certainly as radio friendly as such self-analysis is ever going to be. But hooking her work onto a genre shift doesn’t catch it for me.
What we’re witnessing, what we’re privy too, are the cracks in a chrysalis. And with this much honesty already seeping through we’re watching something of beauty start screaming to fly.
‘Hate Myself’ – Hannah Brown.
Hannah Brown releases ‘Hate Myself’ on Friday 20th September, available to stream for free via her Soundcloud page – click here. For more on Hannah Brown, including gig info and other releases, visit www.hannah-brown.co.uk
Hannah Brown will be playing at the NOT NORMAL NOT OK live gig fundraiser on 25th October at Centrala, alongside Flight Brigade and Lycio. Click here for more direct gig info and links to online ticket sales, via the Facebook event page.
If you have been affected by any of the issues surrounding sexual violence – or if you want to report an act of sexual aggression, abuse or assault – click here for information via the ‘Help & Support’ page on the NOT NORMAL NOT OK website.