This solo EP from O’Hanna, singer from the spiky pop-punk outfit Cobson, begins in a fashion very familiar to fans of Fiona Apple, a theatrical and arch piano jauntily runs through the catchy melody of HK. It’s joined by guitar and then O’Hanna’s voice cooing and yipping. It’s a beguiling and charming way to begin the record, evocative and whimsical, like a Jon Brion film score.
It’s almost a let down when Catherine begins and turns out to be akin to an acoustic Yeah Yeah Yeahs number. It’s a fine little tune but nothing special, a little ditty about a forthwright yet timid girl. It’s followed by a distorted, looping nightmarish sample known as I Got There, I Am Ok, which jars the listener before the Ben Folds-esque piano of Metronome bounds into view, drums skittering at breakneck pace. It’s a joyous little instrumental, punctuated by O’Hanna’s soothing voice softly oo-ing at the close.
16 is a peculiar collision of styles, a light and fluffy chorus with crunchy guitars, thumping drums, whizzy synths and twinkly glockenspiels. It is, for its momentary inventiveness, oddly inconsequential, and the EP begins to feel more like an assortment of half-finished or half-thought ideas.
There’s a cover of Daniel Johnston‘s True Love Will Find You In The End, which is suitably doe-eyed and sad, but lacking the creak and slightly fragile quality of the original. Closing track Hell To Pay is enough chance for O’Hanna to play the piano, and whilst she has an endearing sense for a fruity little ditty, there’s something missing from the mix, a sense of purpose perhaps.
Across the record there are gems and germs of ideas that if all the tracks were coalesced into one she’d really have something, but this record is too disjointed and flitty, distracted and erratic. O’Hanna is a talented musician with a fine voice, but you’re left with very little once the last key rings out.