Kelli Hanson
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Kelli Hanson


Band Alternative Pop


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"Performer Magazine's CD OF THE MONTH"

With a voice that sounds at times like a cross between Bjork and Debbie Harry, lyrics like Townes Van Zandt, and a sonic landscape ranging from the ethereal to the down-home, Kelli Hanson rocks her way through her latest effort, Our Buildings. This splendidly well-produced mix of songs ranges from the ‘80s-infuzed “Chariot” to a more moody, ephemeral “River (She’s A),” where Hanson even seems to channel a little R&B.

Hanson has a fierce gift for the unknown, marrying all these disparate areas of music into one cohesive style. “Lips” could just as well be masterfully performed by Moloko, while the title track sounds like it may have been plucked from the repertoire of Corinne Bailey Rae. Hanson’s ability to so seamlessly integrate pretty much every modern style of music into each song is indeed her biggest asset.

Despite all the sleek production on the rest of the disc, the strongest track on the disc may be “Fall in Canandaigua,” a soft, airy piano instrumental that sounds like it was recorded in someone’s living room during a recital. The piece is a lovely, unexpected break from the rest of the album and provides a sweet, albeit somewhat jarring transition to the haunting title track. In that tune, Hanson returns to her lovely, poetic lyrics: “Open screen doors on the porch for the breezes / To air us out ... Broken dreams falling down like shingles / We’ll share stories of the moonlight.”

Our Buildings is a sharp collection of songs that stand as steady and unshakable as buildings on a city block. With Hanson’s myriad influences and the sleekness of the entire production, this record could be one of the more impressive indie rock releases out of the Bay Area this year. (Bigger Than the Barn Records)

-Kim Ruehl - Performer Magazine

"The Bagel and The Rat Review"

Contemplative but energetic, Kelli Hanson’s music is a strange bird. With a few exceptions - like “Foolish Champion” and the opening track, “Doesn’t Even Matter” - the songs aren’t particularly hooky, and between Hanson’s drawling pronunciation and the deep reverb on her voice it’s hard to make out the words. But the music draws you in with a mysterious power. One can detect touches of an acoustic singer-songwriter vibe, featuring Hanson’s woodsy guitar picking, as well as R&B, Europop, mystical she-magic, modernism, the obscure edges of classic rock, and other strands. There’s even what sounds like prepared piano on the captivating little instrumental “Fall in Canandaigua.” But Hanson is really her own animal. Her tunes might not follow you into the shower, but her thoughtful, atmospheric sounds very well might. I’m keeping this one. - Jon Sobel

"Kelli Hanson "Lullaby For An Astronaut" A"

“Kelli Hanson is the stuff dreams are made of. Her voice is sure and beckons the listener like a finger, drawing us deeper into her lush arrangements. It’s never enough to completely wake one from this phantasmagoric reverie. Instead, we follow Kelli, as she explores her various influences without ever appearing as an imposter.” - S. Telford, Tablet Magazine (Seattle)

"Kelli Hanson "Lullaby For An Astronaut" 9"

Lullaby for an Astronaut features 16 tracks of some of the most diverse material I’ve ever heard pour out of one human being. Kelli Hanson may be the first to point out that she is primarily influenced by Kate Bush and PJ Harvey, but there is certainly a lot more going on here than that.

Kelli, a recent transplant to Seattle from San Jose, is an artistic chameleon who serves us up a three course fusion-gourmet meal on Lullaby for an Astronaut. Starting us off with tasty space folk and French pop, she then introduces an acoustic roots and Brit rock-inspired entrée, finishing it off with layered Moroccan oud, dreamy feedback, and rich vocal swoons.

This is not to say Lullaby for an Astronaut lacks in consistency, however. The stunningly tight production team of Kelli Hanson, Andy Zenczak and Mark Quinn manages to keep this aural collage held together. Making a record with such wide a palette is a risky move that could easily fall flat on its face, but what was turned out on this debut solo is really quite satisfying. Released on her own label, some of the material on this record is so strong in fact, that it baffles me she doesn’t have a mob of record labels beating her door down.

Let’s face it - we are creatures of habit and small comforts, which is why we often overlook or ignore new artists until they are nearly force-fed to us. I’m really no different than you in this regard. I too spend most of my time at local record shops thumbing through the used section, looking for something vaguely familiar and passing over anything that isn’t. I too skim through magazines and websites, only devoting my finite attention to bands that I either already know, or which have really interesting record covers (which is what initially grabbed my attention in this case — I guess I’ve always been a sucker for Technicolor photographs of 50s tract homes and vintage RVs, complete with smoggy skies, film imperfections, and sun spots).

We are quick to form assumptions, and to resist anything new. To be honest, if I only saw Kelli Hanson’s name on a list, I’d likely overlook it, assuming her to be one in a thousand other lipstick-folk rock grrrls, and I wouldn’t have been more wrong. If I could convince you to take a risk on an unknown artist this summer, I’d confidently recommend picking up this gem.

-Salvador Santos, June 03, 2005 - THREE IMAGINARY GIRLS (SEATTLE)

"Kelli Hanson "Lullaby For An Astronaut""

Over the course of Kelli Hanson's debut, you'll hear her imitate a sweet Ani DiFranco, a drugged Cat Power, a mellow PJ Harvey and, strangely enough, a femme Robert Plant. These ladies and gentleman are all fine performers, and make a fine list of influences, but such a broad range of approaches occasionally makes for an jarring listening experience. As Hanson jumps from the twee lightness of opener "Circles" to the darker mumblings of "Papillon De Nuit", and from there to the bluesy, ballsy "In Due Time", we're given no choice but to follow. It's not a question of whether she can handle such disparate styles -- she can, easily -- but of why she doesn't stay still for a second and explore. When she hits a groove, as she does at the end of "In Due Time", with world harmonies surfacing like a lost reel from a Graceland session, it's wonderful -- but when we're mired in "9:27"'s bland, beige pap, it's far from optimal. Still, even at its lowest, Lullaby for an Astronaut delivers sweetly picked acoustics, found sounds and improvised percussion. Give Hanson a 12 album contract, give us a nice fast CD burner, and everything will work out fine.


"Our Buildings"

With Kelli Hanson’s second solo effort, Our Buildings, it seems the focus is on conjuring intense and immediate imagery. The album’s 13 tracks, recorded at Santa Cruz’s Gadgetbox Studios, constitute an exploration of the most visceral sort through Hanson’s highly-distinctive, imminently creative, thought-twistingly ambient brand of dark and enigmatic ’80s pop-laced indie rock. “I think a lot of the songs stem from memories,” Hanson explains, “things that have popped up that you remember, and how those things make you feel.” Hanson’s vocals, diaphanous and sparse, mirror the ephemeral quality of her songs’ instrumental arrangements, at times assertive, at times employing the charisma of vulnerability forever owned by gossamer-voiced ’80s pop chanteuses, and often enlisting the meditative melodic transitions used by groups like Zero 7. Lyrics here, are not intended to be the focal point, instead revealing themselves in fits and starts in moments of poignant declaration. The eponymous track offers the album’s most emotionally compelling imagery, using waves of violin and synth to coax a cool but convincing metaphor that compares buildings to relationships: “Each relationship is built up of different materials,” says Hanson, “whether it be a solid concrete foundation or just some glass laying there.” Listen for the euphoric ’80s nostalgia induced by driving beats, invigorating synth hooks and aspirated, self-assured vocals built into tracks like “Chariot” and “Any Other Minute.” “It was an interesting era,” recalls Hanson, revealing her penchant at age 4 for watching Tom Petty and Berlin videos on MTV. “I’m glad that this generation is kind of coming back to find the fun in it again,” Hanson says. - Santa Cruz Good Times


Release Date: August 24th, 2007
Bigger Than The Barn Records

Produced by Kelli Hanson and Andy Zenczak
Mixed and Engineered by: Andy Zenczak
Recorded at: Gadgetbox Studios, Santa Cruz, CA
Mastered by: Paul Stubblebine at Paul Stubblebine Mastering, San Francisco

All String Arrangements by: Chad Kaltinger, Andy Zenczak and Kelli Hanson
All Songs Written by: Kelli Hanson

Streaming Tracks at, itunes

Release Date: May 15th, 2005
Bigger Than The Barn Records

Produced by Kelli Hanson and Andy Zenczak
Co-Produced by Mark Quinn

Mixed and Engineered by: Andy Zenczak
Recorded at: Gadgetbox Studios, Santa Cruz, CA

Mastered by: Barry Corliss at Master Works, Seattle, WA

Streaming Tracks on, itunes



Kelli Hanson recently returned home to the Bay Area from Seattle, WA to release her eagerly anticipated sophomore album, OUR BUILDINGS, on her label Bigger Than The Barn Records. OUR BUILDINGS captures the raw, indie sound and spacey landscapes of its predecessor, Lullaby for an Astronaut, but it is Hanson’s continued maturity as a gutsy, emotive songwriter that launches us forward into an even fuller, more lush and captivating sound. She brings together a collection of talented musicians who helped cultivate each song to its fullest potential. With this album, Hanson embraces the moods and sounds of many of the musical influences in her life, including such genres as R&B and 80’s POP. OUR BUILDINGS confirms Hanson’s stylistically eclectic sound by giving us simple, melodic, yet edgy songs and incorporates everything from slow, groove ballads to upbeat dance tunes and bluesy rock.

Kelli Hanson first discovered her voice through the power of rock and roll at the age of 13. Being influenced by the indie punk bands of her hometown, San Jose, CA and the powerful vocal style of Kate Bush, PJ Harvey and Guy Picciotto, she developed a stand out vocal style and sound of her own. At 21,
Hanson relocated to Seattle, WA.

For the past five years, her musical endeavors have ranged from leading a hard rock/punk band called Tregenza ( to playing guitar in the Yeek Yak Air Force ( to developing and honing her first solo project, Lullaby for an Astronaut. Lullaby for an Astronaut was released in May of 2005 with much acclaim and was supported with many local shows and a West Coast tour. Hanson has played such venues as Hotel Cafe (LA), Viper Room (LA), Red Devil Lounge (SF), 12 Galaxies (SF), Hotel Utah (SF), Chop Suey (Seattle), Tractor Tavern (Seattle) and the EMP (Seattle).

Hanson’s first album was voted one of the Best Releases of 2005 by Three Imaginary Girls in Seattle. Kelli Hanson was a chosen performer for Rockrgrl Magazine 2005 Music Conference. Hanson has also been heard on such radio stations as SOMA FM (SF), KDVS (Davis, CA), Pandora, Babes in Boyland (France), KEXP (Seattle), FRSC (Santa Cruz), KUBO (Radio Bilingue) and was a featured artist on Amplified Podcast.