- 01 Dec 20
Drawing influence from the likes of Hiatus Kaiyote, Amber Mark, London Grammar and Tom Misch, Rachel Mae Hannon skilfully blends the boundaries between pop and neo-soul.
Monaghan-born artist Rachel Mae Hannon has rapidly established herself as a powerful new talent on the Irish scene, with the release of her acclaimed debut single 'Be In Love' earlier this year – which has since clocked up over 100,000 streams on Spotify. Her Y&E Series performance showcased her emergence into the music scene with a charisma and relatable charm that captures the attention alongside her alt-pop gems.
Surrounded by lights, plants and musical instruments; Rachel Mae Hannon is well prepared for her first ever livestream performance. Kicking off her set full of covers and unreleased original songs, Hannon chooses Corinne Bailey Rae's 'Put Your Records On' after TikTok re-popularised the early 2006 R&B track. Slowing down the tempo for the piano's pace, the artist showcases powerful vocal strength and an easygoing demeanour. Following on from the strong cover is an original song titled 'The Road', written during lockdown. The track is about not knowing what you're doing in life, questioning your choices and realising that decisions have to be made solo; fitting for the current state of confusion and nostalgia that the pandemic has bred in young people especially. The chorus is irresistibly catchy, and Hannon's infectious personality shines through the screen as she sings about personal growth and an uncertain future.
Up next is a brilliant cover of Peggy Lee's classic jazz hit 'Fever', sung with acapella and vocal loop. Hannon originally performed this version for the US Embassy's Creatives Session at the Grand Social. The harmonies, breathy background intonations, humming and clicks of the vocal loop matched with her deep tone is ideal for the soulful song. Another original follows, 'Midnight Dreams' - inspired by the W.B. Yeats poem 'Lake Isle of Inisfree'. The track's theme is overthinking before we drift off to sleep, consumed by both creative thoughts but also anxious, more negative notions. "Dream or nightmare, I don't care / I feel your presence standing there," she sings, painting Yeatsian vivid imagery in her lyricism.
A beautiful cover of Elvis Presley's 'Can't Help Falling In Love With You' follows suit, but Hannon opts to perform a rendition of the 21 Pilots ukelele version. The mellow atmosphere and lightness of her voice paired with the instrument makes for a noteworthy cover of the timeless song. 'Tumbling', another original, takes the receptive audience back to the theme of balance in life, and how easy it is to lose your control over other aspects of your being when you finally gain harmony with one element. Finally, Hannon concludes with her debut single, 'Be In Love'. The track is the only released song from the singer, with big plans for 2021 content upcoming. The slow, stripped back version of her first pop gem highlights the message of personal empowerment within the song. "Have you thought about yourself, young girl, how to fill up your own world?". We can't wait to see what the next year brings for Rachel Mae Hannon, and judging by the audience's support of her livestream show, she's building up a sizeable following.
Watch Michelle Grimes tonight, December 1 – live on the Hot Press Instagram (@hotpressmagazine) at 7.30pm. Hailing from Limerick, multi-instrumentalist Michelle Grimes has emerged as one of the country's most promising pop acts of recent memory. With a R&B-influenced sound that's already been compared to the likes of Ariana Grande, Jessie J and Dua Lipa, the Irish star-in-the-making released her debut single 'Going Going Gone' in October.
Up next on the Y&E Series...
Wednesday, December 2: MATT MCGINN
Tipped as one of the Hot Press 'Hot For 2020' acts, Co. Down folk artist Matt McGinn has spent the last few years establishing himself as one of the most talented songsmiths in Ireland, with four acclaimed albums. Over lockdown, he kept himself busy recording a new album – releasing 'Annie (Many Moons Ago)', the first single from the project, in August.
Thursday, December 3: GEORGE HUTTON
Acclaimed Irish folksinger and lyric tenor George Hutton has shared stages with Glen Hansard, Phil Coulter, Hozier, Moya Brennan and more. He launched his solo career with the release of Chapter One in 2018, followed by Home earlier this year. George recently returned with an acclaimed new single, 'The Light'.
Friday, December 4: VERY SPECIAL GUEST!!!