Written by Fense
Madam Owl is the title of the new album by Jeff Hanson (MySpace), out now on Kill Rock Stars, and it’s quite a change from Son and his self-titled release. Overall, Hanson departs from folk and dives headlong into pop. However, that’s not the biggest change on Madam Owl… no, it’s the addition of orchestration that really sets this album apart from his prior catalog.
Hanson’s vocals are high pitched; the sound is odd coming from a man burly and built (I saw him live at an art gallery in Moscow, ID about 5 years ago, and it was one of the cooler performances I’ve been to). The voice goes well with the music which, prior to Madam Owl was much more limited to guitar and percussion.
“If Only I Knew” is not the best song on the album. That spot is reserved for opener “Night” and string-heavy midpoint “Careful” and the soft “No Never Mine”. But it’s the one Hanson put to video. Following the recent trend of poppy folk groups, it’s animated.
But it’s easy to see why they chose this song, though—the percussion beat is one of the few prominent ones on the album. There are horns and, rather than a focus on guitar, Hanson picks up the banjo.
Jeff Hanson: If I Only Knew [mp3]
[audio:1008_jeff_hanson_-_if_only_i_knew.mp3|titles=If I Only Knew|artists=Jeff Hanson]