‘Carrying cinematic influences and gorgeous vocals, it’s a truly emotive track.’
Intro to Hannah Koski
Featuring on EDM tracks by Danny Darko and Coffin Dance earlier this year, the name Hannah Koski is one you may already be aware of. However, if you’ve already pressed play on her latest release, you may have found yourself wondering if you were hearing the same person. To clear up any confusion right away, you are. Sounding completely at home on those other releases, but even moreso on ‘Send in the Fireflies’ it’s a track that truly highlights just how versatile an artist Hannah is. Already gaining support from BBC Introducing Warwickshire, the release is a stunning departure from those other tracks, and signals the arrival of something much more subtle. Featuring the composition and production qualities of Will Harrison, and the mastering skills of Grammy Award Winner Ruadhri Cushnan, it’s a track that while incredibly delicate, shines incredibly brightly too.
Introducing the two elements that lie at the heart of ‘Send in the Fireflies’, the softest of vocal harmonies combine with appropriately delicate arpeggio based piano. It’s understated, beautiful and carrying just a hint of haunting, it’s completely enticing. Equally, with the lyrical content being title-led, the theme of everything working as one becomes instantly evident. This isn’t to be a track that shouts, but instead one that whispers into our ears, generates a true sense of calm and truly transports us elsewhere.
Building through the opening section, while those piano motifs are ever-present, the developments that occur on each return to the note of origin are as subtle as can be. Where there were moments of space, additional high-pitched sequences fill the silences first. Touchingly played bass notes appear next. Then orchestral tendencies in the form of sustained strings enhance harmonic progressions. Together it’s about as image-conjuring as it gets, and subliminally causing you to visualise fireflies beginning to take flight against the most starry of night skies, it’s a truly gorgeous sound.
Signalling the establishment of a textural pattern, as we arrive at the verse we find ourselves experiencing the most intimate of vocals. Like a romance-filled ballad, the connection we find with both the accompaniment and Hannah’s vocals is completely effortless. Acoustically set, melodic fragments emulate the lyrical settings, while the beauty of the lyricism itself gives us much to focus on. Containing lines such as “I was above ever falling in love” , and “I just couldn’t see why you were falling for me”, the level of reflection is more than we could ever wish for. Adding to this further, vocal inflections that hint at soft soul influences, and touchingly seamless switches between head voice and alto range, present a vocal quality that deserves to be recognised so much more.
Maintaining a similar approach, as we move toward and beyond the halfway point of the track, those earlier string harmonies take on their own, equally gentle development. Barely there initially, as these emerge from the distance and become more prominent, expanses of luscious harmonies are formed. Creating the most perfect combination, it’s a moving, highly cinematic moment. Likewise, with Hannah’s vocals being multi-tracked and carrying controlled confidence, the whole experience becomes increasingly emotive. A sensation that is soon to be heightened further.
Offering up the most subtle of developments, as we return to the intimacy this time round additional image-generating fragments appear. Like the final fireflies hatching and taking flight, delicately plucked harp moves with the inferred harmonies. Effect-enhanced vocal phrases of “I have fallen in love” and “I didn’t know what you’re capable of” bring a beautifully mystical edge. And sustained counter-melodic orchestral motifs grow in a restrained, yet stirring manner. Seamlessly guiding us to a chorus infused with percussion as gentle as everything else, it’s a stunning transition. One that genuinely generates a feeling of weightlessness. Therefore, with the closing moments taking us full circle, we are left in no doubt that the word stunning also applies to not just Hannah’s vocal, but her musicality as a whole.