Hannah Aldridge “Dream of America”

Icons Creating Evil Art, 2023

Latest from Aldridge veers towards electronic pop-noir with an overall dark and often melancholic vibe.

Hannah Aldridge Dream of America Album CoverAlbum number four has Aldridge songwriting through a cinematic lens. Released through Swedish alternative indie label Icons Creating Evil Art, it is a collaborative project conceived by Frans Hagglund in Stockholm, Lachlan Bryan and Damian Cararella in Melbourne and Aldridge’s base in Nashville. There are some interesting moments on this album, it starts off just fine but then begins to unravel.

Dorero’ is a strong opener and sets the cinematic tone. ‘Portrait of the Artist as a Middle-Aged Man ’ is another fine track written by Bryan and Cararella. The track has some magnificent lines including “She’s got peroxide and a ponytail, and some cut off denim shorts. Bare midriff and a bracelet that was just this morning bought. You see it all ends up as evidence in court.”

Beautiful Oblivion’ is a wonderfully provocative song with some welcome slide, both songs being more reminiscent of Aldridge’s conventional sound. The title track ‘Dream of America’ is an odd small instrumental, while ‘The Fall’ is a duet with co-writer Ben Glover, describing an irreparable relationship using the Walls of Babylon as imagery. There follows then the most bizarre couple of tracks. A cover of Talking Heads ‘Psycho Killer’ that sounds like an eighties soap star’s version. Then ‘Catacombs’, a spoken track and quite unfathomable.  ‘The Great Divide’ redeems proceedings at the end despite the drum loop.

Aldridge’s familiar phlegmy Muscle Shoals vowels remain a constant on this album but the music often feels of secondary importance. This is a disappointment as previous albums have allowed for some traditional flourishes and a feeling that musicians have bought into the project and have had a bit of fun contributing to the dream.

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