Tear duct-tickling moments were scattered all over Hannah Cohen’s first record, ‘Child Bride’, so the promise of a woe-fuelled sophomore from the Frisco-born songstress and model seems an ominous prospect indeed – how can her sleepy, shiver-inducing songcraft get any more heart-rending? The answer, of course, is that it cannot. Her bruised soul takes a deviation on ‘Pleasure Boy’, which is a witchier, ghostlier and more intricate work than its comparatively humble predecessor. Heartbreak in technicolour, if you will. ‘Keepsake’ sets the tone, with Cohen’s rather more twee, folk-leanings replaced by a decidedly more modern, labyrinthine sound, leading the way for a series of cathartic soundscapes that are expertly engineered by Thomas Bartlett (The National, Antony and the Johnsons). Above the piercing atmosphere, Cohen wavers between Lana-like cool and Kate Bush at her vulnerable best; she’s at times defiant in the face of adversity and at others wilting under the weight of her heavy heart. Either way, she’s always hypnotic.

On “Queen of Ice” her versatile vocals bring sass and strut too, but it’s a false dawn that is short-lived. The record closes with ‘Baby’, a reflective bow out with battered acoustic strums coming to the fore for the first and only time. It’s a slow-burner that would have sat snugly on her 2012 debut; less ambitious but more affecting, which makes us long for a middle ground between the two come album number three.


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