Hannah Hagar
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Hannah Hagar

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF
Band Folk Singer/Songwriter


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Portraits (2008)



[pawr-trit, -treyt, pohr-]
– noun
1. the likeness of an individual: tracks like “Allison,” and “Coffee, Pills & Cigarettes” introduce characters so honest, real, that it’s easy to get lost in their minds – as if you’ve know them for years
2. to capture the mood, the lines of the face: from the more intimate “Broken” and “Runaway,” to the get-up-and-dance “Beautiful” and “Gravity,” each track tells the trying, truthful story of love, loss, and growth like it was your own

While Portraits was not completed until the spring of 2008, many of the songs were written well before Hannah Hagar’s 18th birthday. Evoking such passion and experience only reaffirms that her soul is aged far beyond her years. Pairing cliff-hanger lyrics with hooking melodies, Hannah garnered the support of Roscoe Beck on bass (Leonard Cohen, Eric Johnson), Brennan Temple on drums (Robben Ford, Eric Johnson), and David Murray on guitar (Kelly Willis, Marcia Ball), to bring raw, new, authentic voice to Texas music.

Growing up in Austin, Hannah fostered a deep-rooted appreciation for art at an early age – music in the park, theatre through story-time at the library, sculptures in the gardens. And this utter enjoyment of raw creativity weaves a delicate attention to detail though each verse, chorus, bridge, challenging the listener to view things anew. While music was an innate interest, Hannah’s first taste of performance was in theatre. What started with youth acting classes and a cultivated flair for putting text to music soon grew into scoring whole productions and ultimately, songwriting. It was an adaptation of Shakespeare’s As You Like It in particular that led Hannah into the studio and thus began the four-year journey of Portraits.

Shortly thereafter, Hannah enrolled in St. Edward’s University and a new level of depth and understanding began to penetrate her writing and composition – new places, new faces, new truths. Where Portraits offers snapshots into the lives of others, Hannah’s more recent material is far more personal. In “Flake,” she sings, “we don’t have much to lose, just a lot to take” and in “Blue Eyes,” “you fall to pieces when you should be dreaming.” Juxtaposed with the driving melody and pounding drum beat, seemingly cynical verses find poise and optimism. With an undercurrent of strife, release, and forward motion, the tentatively titled Alive reveals a quiet vulnerability while maintaining that strength and resolve that keeps us all persevering.