Hana Malhas

Hana Malhas

 Amman, Amman, JOR
BandPop

“songstress with a 10,000-watt voice- it’s as if the music is taking over her body, channeling through her lungs in a sort of velvet explosion. She has an infectious smile, and a playful way of grooving onstage, performing with either piano or guitar.” JO Magazine

Biography

She delivers soul-stirring songs with great intensity. Martin Bandyke, Ann Arbors 107one

Hana (pronounced HENa) sometimes describes herself as a nomad, but at the end of day is lucky to call two communities home. She hails from Amman, Jordan and has stitched Ann Arbor, MI permanently into her heart seams. Malhas chases summer every year from one region to the other, performing music whenever she gets the chance. On stages in both the US and the Middle East, she is a storyteller with an expressive vocal delivery. JO Magazines Nick Seeley describes her as a songstress with a 10,000-watt voice its as if the music is taking over her body, channeling through her lungs in a sort of velvet explosionshe has an infectious smile, and a playful way of grooving onstage, performing with either piano or guitar.

Hanas latest EP release Hana Malhas & The Overthinkers (2012) features the song How We Love, nominated for the 12th annual Independent Music Award in the Folk/Singer-songwriter Song Category.

The EP is as cohesive as it as complex and offers an invested emotional experience. It was co-produced by Michelle Chamuel (Thick Glasses Music, Ella Riot, The Reverb Junkie), who added all vocal harmonies and instrumental arrangements. Hanas voice is at times haunting, and hard-hitting at others. While her 2010 debut LP, Shapeshift, featured 17 American and Jordanian artists recorded over two time zones, this new record is more focused, elemental, and intimate. In her own words, Hana describes the album as full of subtle drama. To me, its about your subconscious love, your inner superhero, or your darkest quiet place. She talks about the recording process, Things just happened and we made use of our surroundings, but the choices were very thoughtful from crafting the words to selecting an old piano. Nothing was rushed.

One listener/writer, Philip Logos describes the album: The songs are relatable, not because of universal themes or catchy tunes for frequently both music and lyrics take an unexpected (and therefore interesting) turn but rather because of the unabashedly exposed nature of the writing, which can only be the product of Hanas sincere approach to connecting with her audience.

Hana sings mostly in English, and sometimes in Arabic, and she performs solo and/or with her band The Overthinkers (which varies from duo to full band). Her favorite venues last year included: a headlining show at The Ark in Ann Arbor, the Citadel in Amman, and a Sakia stage, on the Nile river in Cairo. Shes performed intimate listening rooms bars, festivals and outdoor stages in these beautiful places: Michigan (Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Detroit, Dearborn, Grand Rapids, Traverse City, Albion), New York City, Chicago, Boston, Milwaukee, Jordan (Amman), Lebanon (Beirut), and Egypt (Cairo). Shes shared the stage with artists such as Serena Ryder, Chris Pureka, Ella Riot, and the Crane Wives. Hana is looking forward to the growth that comes with expanding stages and cities.

Her voice has a great deal of texture and soul[Malhass] songs are both deeply felt and full of fresh images. A song about a lingering attraction ends unexpectedly with Some words are only meant to be sung. Some come from the downside of love, and Malhas has an unusual knack for using elemental nature images with emotional resonances (I crumble like salt, and you sink like a stone). She writes long verses that show evidence of a good deal of work done to bend emotion to a metrical scheme. A few of her songs have ambitious, dark lyrics that can be read in multiple ways. -James M. Manheim, Ann Arbor Oberserver

Lyrics

God for a Day

Written By: Hana Malhas

Say goodnight, I’m alone.
My lungs command my voice,
turning breath into moan,
leaving me no choice.

These outbursts of sound
can’t be tamed,
they’re wearing me down
and offer no refrain.

It’s my unraveling, it’s perfectly timed.
My skin is glistening with sweat tears and wine.
I’ll be a god today, I’ll silence this cry, I’ll build a dam, to diffuse the waves and hold this wall up high.

I’ll erase what’s been done,
I’ll deny my grief,
no wailing winds
to rile up the seas.

No wailing winds, to rile up seas and shake up their beds.
Oh please, leave me be.

I’ll be a god today, I’ll silence this cry, I’ll build a dam, to diffuse the waves and hold this wall up high.

It’s my unraveling, it’s perfectly timed.
My skin is glistening with sweat tears and wine.

Short on Penance

Written By: Hana Malhas

I couldn’t look at my reflection cause I heard what it would say,
that I knew this day would come, and I wouldn’t be ok.

I chose to let you go, I tried to outrun the pain,
Like trying to stay dry, standing under pouring rain

Cold water seeps into bone
I crumble like salt and you sink like a stone
I’m still short on the penance I owe
my love

I look at you now with nothing to say,
fighting the urge to beg you not to go.
Please don’t go.

Won’t you forgive me now, I tried to outrun the pain,
Like trying to stay dry, standing under pouring rain

Cold water seeps into bone
I crumble like salt and you sink like a stone
I’m still short on the penance I owe my love

Like leaves of spring thought I was brave
but I just fall to the ground when seasons change
Only trees can make it through the winter
Stoic and strong, you always gave me shelter
I was wrong, it was you all along

Cold water seeps into bone
I crumble like salt and you sink like a stone

Radiate

Written By: Hana Malhas


This is happening you say, I don’t ask what you mean.
Let our hands touch, let the words get caught in between.
Stolen glances, we’re only brave in the dark.
Come with me, don’t hide this in your heart.

If you deny this, I’ll make you stay,
call you a liar,
I’ll radiate,
cause I’m so sure, I’m on fire.

This is happening you say, I hear your voice on my skin,
telling me to let go, let this feeling sink in.
No more resisting your lips on mine,
I’ll just keep kissing till we run out of time.

If I deny this, make me stay,
call me a liar,
I’ll radiate,

cause I’m so sure. I’m so sure, I’m so sure. Baby I’m so sure, I’ll radiate with you.

Olive Tree

Written By: Hana Malhas

The sweat slides off your skin and follows your hand as it sinks into the dirt.
I watch you from a window and I hear your silent communion with the earth.
One day I’ll ask you to grow me an olive tree.

Rain comes at night, reluctant at first, then loud and strong.
Then loud and strong, gushing out of air, thick with thirst.

I can finally breathe, at least until the next sleepless night.
Tonight I’ll dream that you planted me an olive tree.

One day I’ll ask you to grow me an olive tree.

Run

Written By: Hana Malhas

It's cold and bright, I'm breathing against it with all my might
your words in my hand, my feet on the ground
singing out loud, the sun in my eyes

oh my heart will stretch
push through my chest
I will run like I've never run before
I will run till I'm standing at your door
I will run like I've never run before
I will run til I reach you

I want to feel time turn to wind, feel it race against my skin,
running free under the dark, with a lion in my heart

oh my heart will stretch
push through my chest
I will run like I've never run before
I will run till I'm standing at your door
I will run like I've never run before
I will run til I reach you

till I reach you

oh my heart will stretch
push through my chest
won't let me rest

I will run like I've never run before
I will run till I'm standing at your door
I will run like I've never run before
I will run til I reach you

Just a Dream

Written By: Hana Malhas

You sit in your kitchen chair, light makes waves in your hair, this is what I see when you visit me in my dreams. I know it's been a life time, I don't mean to make you cry, I need to find my way back, to see you one more time. It was always, always just a dream, but I swear I swear if felt so real. My coat still hangs at the door, this house is not mine anymore, this is what I see in faded old memories. I know it's been a lifetime, I don't mean to make you cry, I need to find my way back, to see you one more time. It was always, always just a dream, but I swear I swear if felt so real that I reached out, I knew without a doubt, that you were there with me, no more longing as we sleep. It was always always just a dream, but I swear I swear it felt so real.

Discography

Hana Malhas & The Overthinkers (June, 2012)

Shapeshift (March, 2010)

Set List

Can perform:
solo (piano, guitar, vocals)
duo (piano, guitar, vocals, bass or cello)
trio. (piano, guitar, vocals, bass, cello, percussion)

Typical set is 45-60 minutes, can fill 2 one hour sets.

95% originals, some covers