The world of country music is about to be jumpstarted by its latest lightning rod of an artist. The genre meets its muse in the form of a breakout star known as Hannah Anders. A sweetheart from the South and a full-time rocker who introduces listeners to her newest album, Evolution. Her first full length album that expresses southern life and all that it entails. Talladega, partying, innocence, relationships and coming of age are all beautifully described by Anders. The Georgia native brings together a hard-hitting sound that leaves shockwaves reminiscent of an early Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood.
Anders doesn’t shy away from letting others know the kind of songwriter she is on the album’s first track. Evolution is kicked off with the energetic, acoustic driven single “Break Us”. The opener combines both electric and acoustic guitar that are accompanied by harmonies from Anders. This is a relationship that Anders continues throughout the album as listeners are transported from backyard porches to center stage bars in an instant. In this track, Anders discusses the never-ending cycle of “breaking up and making up” in a tireless relationship. A reoccurring theme that becomes a significant part of living in the south through her album.
The songwriter doesn’t slow down as she instead adds another gear in the following tracks. The pride and joy of partying in the country is represented in “Southern Free” and “Paint the Town”. Through an accompanied fiddle and slide guitars, the values of southern living are personified in Jack Daniels, F-150s and Hank Williams. Anders’ belting vocals and intense lyrics showcase the respect she has in her roots of being southern raised. All the while, the lyrics transition fruitless relationships in the opening track to a partying singles’ life in the country.
It’s easy for the album to continue its cutting-edge music of a non-traditional style. The tracks of “Like a Lady” and “Drinkin’ Him Wonderful” continue the trend of adventures in partying. Influences of southern rock vibes can be heard through soulful bass lines an incendiary rhythm guitar. Goosebump sensations return as Anders transitions her soft sound into a driving force. But she shows off her abilities as a lyricist too with clever approaches about love and how others value it in relationships. Both songs deal with how people view individuals they’re attracted to before making a move or even fully committing to their partner. The lyrics make this seem like almost a parody that comes with a little misadventure in running into someone’s ex.
But of all the partying and scenic views of the country, Anders decides to take a step back to show how quickly a heart can sink. “Outside Looking In’’ is sung to life through a tear-jerking piano ballad and a vibrant slide guitar. Anders’ brings honesty and versatility in this track through a tale of heartache. The song looks at a couple’s relationship from two perspectives: what we see and what lies under the surface. These viewpoints press hard questions on whether a couple’s love life is as it seems on social media. The woes and “disguises” of the relationship are intertwined by Anders as the couple bitterly fights to save it.
The music and magic of the album offers listeners a deep dive into an adventure of the country with a passionate storyteller. Anders’ gifted ability to talk us through dying love into a wild night of party crashing is a welcomed one. Her regaling of true to life lyrics and back down south music offer a new sensation. The remarkable work of showcasing a tour through a southern nightlife offers comfort and resolution. Whether its in a downtown bar or in the backwoods of a country night. The new album Evolution drops January 22, 2021.
Written by Trenton Luber