Alicia Hansen with Ben Brown
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Alicia Hansen with Ben Brown

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Duo Jazz Singer/Songwriter


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"i’s rare to come across a musician so fully formed"

Her self-released debut album, Fractography, is a strong collection of off-kilter piano pop that has a real shot at wider success...Hansen developed a style in which her ethereal voice and classically informed arrangements come together in experimental pop that’s both listenable and challenging. Her chops are impressive, so it’s no surprise to learn that her background is in classical and jazz, though she’s mostly left those worlds behind...It’s rare to come across a musician so fully formed - NOW magazine

"Alicia Hansen mixes it up with Fractography"

Dense, thorny, and yet very vital music; bolstered by Hansen’s psychologically fraught lyrics, Fractography’s 11 songs sound like 21st-century lieder, albeit with hints of progressive rock and avant-garde jazz.

Remarkably, though, she’s been able to use her classical-music past without being bound by it. It’s especially gratifying that she’s been able to escape her vocal training; she most definitely does not sound like a soprano singing pop.
- The Georgia Straight

"definitely a unique album"

Right down to its title, Alicia Hansen’s Fractography is complex and ambitious, searching for different ways of seeing and hearing...

This is definitely a unique album.... Everything sounds, well, pretty amazing here. Hansen’s remarkable voice [is] delicate yet strong and completely in control.
...This is excitingly individual work—Hansen’s artistic voice is accessible but unique, musically challenging, and seems to thrive on change, which are all extremely good signs. - Foxy Digitalis

"truly wonderful and strange"

It’s a truly wonderful and strange album that Alicia Hansen has put together. It’s an album that is much easier to hear than describe accurately.

- Gray Owl Point

"a winning combination"

Let's start from the end this time, agreed? Well, Fractography is a great album.
[Alicia Hansen] follows a path that we can call her own, where classical influences (a lot), jazz influences (definitely more than a pinch), 'Prog'.. a skillful command of the keyboard, and excellent vocals (she has a fine voice which doesn't need any particular inclination in order to be appreciated) add up to a winning combination.
- Clouds and Clocks

"An obvious top pick"

This is a decidedly different sort of album from a decidedly different musical artist. Hard to believe this is a debut album (?). Vancouver, Canada's Alicia Hansen will no doubt develop a loyal underground following in no time flat. If you are continually on the prowl for original music, Fractography just may be the drug you crave. Alicia's music can, in many ways, be compared to Kate Bush. But that's just a general reference point, she's no copycat. In some ways, the songs on this album are much more reminiscent of British progressive artists from the 1970s (think Henry Cow or Curved Air perhaps?). So many different styles of music colliding and so many possible influences make it very difficult to describe this music. Suffice to say...Hansen writes some remarkable effective songs and she has a strange and perplexing voice that provides the perfect central focus. Cool absorbing compositions include "Under Hypnosis," "Homesickness," "Poison Tree," and "Fractography." Can't say enough good things about this one. An easy and obvious TOP PICK. - Baby Sue

"shockful of talent"

Oh wow! What a splendid short disc, from a pianist/singer I didn’t know. She’s shockful of talent, and marvelously surrounded. Judge for yourself: bassist Tommy Babin, drummer Skye Brooks (of Fond of Tigers), cellist Peggy Lee, and guitarist Ron Samworth - the creme de la creme of Vancouver avant-jazz! However, Fractography is not a hazz endeavour; it’s boldly arranged yet soft avant-pop. I thought of Kate Bush in “In Armies,” Björk in “Norway.” Yet, Hansen develops her own style in tracks like “Alcoholic,” “Poison Tree” and the excellent title track. Very heartily recommended to fans of unique female singers-songwriters.

- Monsieur Delire

"beautifully broken melodies that brim with confidence"

Fractographic images can be arresting, intense and surprisingly beautiful.

All are equally apt descriptions of the 11 tracks found on Alicia Hansen's debut album, Fractography. Featuring the combined talents of such creative scene powerhouses as bassist Tommy Babin, guitarist Ron Samworth, bassist Cory Curtis, cellist Peggy Lee and Juno Awardwinning drummer Skye Brooks, Hansen's music may work within the general parameters of pop music.
But it clearly comes from a musician who has journeyed to get there.
Citing influences such as PJ Harvey and Björk, the tunesmithing is very much in tune with the world of indie singer/ songwriters with an "art song" bent: Pristine rather than precious.
-Stuart Derdeyn - The Province

"fresh and unpredictable"

She cites PJ Harvey, Joanna Newsom and Björk as inspirations, and there’s also quite a bit of Tori Amos in Alicia Hansen’s passionate singing voice, piano playing and lyrics. All the same, the Royal Conservatory grad and former Vancouver Chamber Choir singer carves a relatively distinctive artistic personality on this debut album by embracing dissonance, dramatic tonal shifts and complex harmonic structures. Well supported by her musicians (guitarist Ron Samworth, bassist Tommy Babin, drummer Skye Brooks, cellist Peggy Lee), Hansen rarely contents herself with simple pop songs, flirting instead with modern jazz, neoclassical music and progressive rock, and delivering compositions that remain fresh and unpredictable even after many listens. - The Hour


2011: "Fractography" - independent release.



"Your sense of harmony and your looseness with rhythm and meter are all things that I admire, and there is a real vibe you have that is your own. You have a very strong musical voice." - Brad Mehldau

Vancouver's Alicia Hansen was born and raised at the piano. Before she finished high school, she earned diplomas in piano and voice from the Toronto Royal Conservatory of Music. She has toured the world as a professional classical choral singer, taken a degree in jazz piano studying with Vancouver's finest, been commissioned as a composer for film, theatre, and solo instrumental works, and played in bands ranging in style from indie, jazz, fusion, and latin. Her critically acclaimed debut album, "Fractography" features a band of Vancouver's cream-of-the-crop avante-jazz musicians: Skye Brooks, Peggy Lee, Tommy Babin and Ron Samworth. Redefining the 'singer-songwriter' genre, her dramatic and powerful jazz and prog-rock infused songs smolder with fearless individuality.

Passing the ultimate test of potency, her music works equally well with a full band or stripped down to voice, piano and drums. Her latest duo project with drummer Ben Brown delivers all the intensity, complexity and power of a 5-piece ensemble. Imagine The Bad Plus, PJ Harvey, Tom Waits and Stravinsky all huddled together during an electrical storm.... the result might be something similar to the sound that Hansen and Brown create together.

Ben Brown is a frequent collaborator with such internationally renowned musicians as Francois Houle, Michael Bates and Jill Barber, is a member of Portage & Main (current finalists in the Peak Performance Project), Pugs & Crows (2010 recipients of the Galaxy Rising Star Award) and The Unsupervised and has appeared in festivals across Canada. His versatility and broad sonic palette keep him in constant demand as a drummer, percussionist and composer.

Band Members