Hannah & Maggie
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Hannah & Maggie

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE
Band Folk Pop

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"The Great 2012 NERFA CD Haul"

"[Muscle & Bone's] overall effect leaves the impression of something delicate but exalted, exuding an exquisite melancholy. Maybe it’s just too beautiful for mere words on paper." - Richard Cuccaro of "Acoustic Live!"


"Muscle & Bone"

Folk music is one of the main concepts on hand here. Clearly a lot of the music can be compared to The Indigo Girls, but that’s far from the only musical reference. However you slice it, this is great stuff.



Track by Track Review

As You Wake
Vocals open this without instrumentation and it stays that way for a time. Then the music comes in with both pop and country elements in place. In a lot of ways this makes me think of a more upbeat, cheery kind of Indigo Girls sound.

Keeping Calm the Lives We Know
In a lot of ways this is a more purely folk oriented song. The reference to the Indigo Girls is even more relevant here.

Burlington, VT
Bouncy and yet quite folky, this has more energy than the previous tune and a horn section is a nice touch, too. The arrangement gets pretty lush later with strings added and more layers of vocals. This is great.

Muscle & Bone
There is definitely more of a pure folk element to the title track, but it’s got some strings and overall has a great arrangement. This is certainly slower and mellower than a lot of the set, but it’s also charming and pretty. There’s a real gentle vulnerability to the vocals that adds a lot to the piece.

Sara
Even mellower, again the strings add a lot to the piece and this has a great folk music backing. I’m reminded a bit of Suzanne Vega but with a more developed and pretty vocal arrangement. This might be one of the mellower tunes here, but it’s also one of the best.

City In Between
More energized, this has a lot of that folk meets pop rock element in place. It’s another strong tune, but perhaps not as potent as some of the rest.

Ghost
The music here is quite mellow and almost bluegrass in nature in some ways. The vocals are slow and gentle. Of course, that’s just at first. The cut gets more layers of sound added after one round of singing and it remains a slow moving cut with more pop folk in the mix, but that bluegrass sound remains. We get a slow moving round in terms of the vocal arrangement later. It’s a nice touch.

Little Wind
The horns return early, bringing almost a Beatles-vibe early. It drops down to some seriously country influenced folk music from there, though. Yet the vocals don’t have any of that country. This a slow moving cut with a great arrangement that has a lot of layers to it.

Curfew
There’s not a huge shift here, but there’s almost a slow martial beat to this. A lot of strings are heard in the mix and overall this is a slow moving, but quite soaring number.

Brighton Beach
Another mellow number, the banjo adds a lot to this cut. It’s not one of the highlights, but still works quite well.

The Room Fiddler
The arrangement here is more developed and has more layers of sound. Yet it’s also got more of the country element at times.

The Quieting Down
Indigo Girls probably makes the most obvious reference here. There’s a lot of energy on this and some tasty whistling later. This is a good tune and has some more country in it at times.

Four Post Bed
Suzanne Vega is really a great reference point here. There’s quite a bit of energy despite that fact that this is still slow and folk-like. - Music Street Journal


"Muscle & Bone Album Review"

If you were to picture Hannah & Maggie as a sort of musical Thelma and Louise, barnstorming across the U.S. in an over-stuffed station wagon, you wouldn’t be too far from part of the truth. The truth, that is, if Thelma and Louise harmonized liked Simon and Garfunkel, and wrote with the poignant flair of The Indigo Girls. These words are, perhaps, big shoes to fill, but Hannah & Maggie fill them nicely. Their recently released second album, Muscle And Bone, offers wonderfully image-filled songwriting, angelic harmonies and musical warmth that is difficult to describe but wonderful to experience.
Hannah &Maggie kick things off with “As You Wake”, a wonderfully vibrant still life in song about love worn angst. In spite of the emotional cloudy skies portrayed here the song is catchy, and Hannah & Maggie's voices mix like magic. “Keeping Calm The Lives We Know” is urgent and faced-paced, and sounds very much like a theoretical Paula Simon and Amy Garfunkel. Musical aesthetics seems to be the purpose in “Burlington, Vermont”. The attention to capture a place/moment is a bid muddled lyrically, but is a thing of pure beauty musically. “Muscle and Bone” captures the musician yearning; the desire to capture moments, people and places in song for the sake of doing so. The sense of transcendence here is amazing. It’s like hearing the magic of nature unfurl before your very ears.
“City In Between” is a catchy folk number about coming to terms with the terminal dysfunction in a relationship. This time the lyrical constructs are spot on, and the performance is as sharp as anything Hannah & Maggie have done. Fans of Nerissa and Katryna Nields will find much to like here. One of the most interesting songs on the album is “Ghost”, an ode to an emotional transient that is crafted in warm musical hues and stark imagery. Hannah & Maggie create a sort of musical alchemy with their voices here in perhaps the most moving performance on the album.
Hannah & Maggie do a wonderful job of capturing a feeling of melancholy and emotional desolation on “Little Wind”. The musical imagery matches the lyrics, and makes for a listen that’s aesthetically uncomfortably but artistically masterful. The melancholy bleeds over into “Curfew”, breakout out into full hysterics that we never quite see but have described for us. The song is a thing of utter beauty, a ‘Wow’ moment, with Hannah Hickock showing a tremendous sense of vulnerability and awareness in the process of coming to terms with things she knew about a relationship but didn’t recognize at the time.
“Brighton Beach” is a surprisingly literate take on someone circling their own psyche for understanding. The lyrics here roll off the tongue like pure magic, with turns of phrase that make you stop in wonder. The voices here are sublime. “The Room Fiddler” is an interesting blend of melancholy and hope that is quietly catchy. The sadness in this song is palpable, but there is also a sense that the singer is searching for redemption in loneliness, and intriguing conceptualization. “The Quieting Down” maintains the desolate quality that pops up throughout Muscle and Bone, ensconced in a wonderful cadence. Hannah & Maggie wind things down with “Four Post Bed”, a somewhat confusing take on the baser tendencies of human relationships. It’s not entirely clear whether the singer is indicting someone else or herself for perceived imperfections. Nevertheless, it’s a sonically beautiful closer you won’t want to miss.
Hannah & Maggie grab you right from the opening moments of Muscle and Bone with stark imagery, gorgeous arrangements and voices that wrap around you like a warm blanket on a cold winter’s night. Comparisons to Simon & Garfunkel, The Indigo Girls and The Nields are all very valid, but the overarching quality that runs through Muscle and Bone is an aching desolation like that which informed Roger Waters’ best work with Pink Floyd. This desolation elocuted in such angelic voices sparks images that drive themselves into your mind and refuse to leave. Muscle and Bone may have a couple of weak moments, but the magic that pervades here is too strong to ignore. - Wildy's World Blog


"Cute Lesbians, Good Music"

"I think what really sets them apart from the hoards of other talented chicks covering songs on youtube is their original music."

"...the reality is that Hannah & Maggie are so much better than the typical vaginarock that floats around lesbian circles (listen, don't deny it - I spent 6 years in lesbian circles!)." - Autostraddle


"Hannah & Maggie’s New Album “Fine Being Here” Available Now"

"Hannah and Maggie’s impressive musicality is only bolstered by the feeling that what they have to say is both honest and organic." - Smith'd Blog


"Introducing & Album Review: Hannah & Maggie – Fine Being Here"

“Perfect for relaxing to on warm, summer days... there’s a mesmerizing quality to their harmonious voices”

“Beautifully familiar” - Musicdune.com


"Anderson appears again, duo wows"

"This quirky folk duo, hailing from Smith College in Northampton, Mass., sounds like Corinne Bailey Rae meeting Sarah Silverman. Their sweet vocals and great harmonies put everyone at ease."

"However, when they weren’t busy singing or tuning their guitars, they loved to joke around. Their awkward humor (“Chapstick, anyone?”) and silly stories, such as one about shocking a professor with a Rihanna cover, kept the audience from nodding off in between numbers. Together, they managed to rile up the audience before [the headliner]." - The Spectator - Hamilton College


"Hannah & Maggie Album Review: Fine Being Here"

“heartbreaking and joyful all at the same time”

“if I had to pick one word to describe this music, it would be inviting” - Julie Dworman


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

Bright-eyed and bolstered by a rapidly growing fan base, the award winning NYC duo has set out to make the world of singer-songwriters a more cheerful place. Although they've been favorably compared to Simon & Garfunkel and The Indigo Girls, these ladies have an undeniable originality and a sound all their own. With two studio albums and experience playing hundreds of venues in the continental US, including Lincoln Center, these two show no signs of stopping. Their live shows are toe-tapping, knee-slapping spectacles of crystal-clear harmonies and heartfelt acoustic arrangements that leave you wanting more. For all those interested in making your ears happy, look no further.

Band Members