Track Of The Day: King Hannah – ‘Crème Brûlée’

Let’s get it out of the way – King Hannah‘s lead singer, Hannah Merrick, insists that this wonderful, mournful lilt is really, genuinely about the 1980s dessert fave. But, even if that’s true, there’s still a lot to read into ‘Crème Brûlée’: the dessert itself consists of a tough skin sitting on top of a softer side, not unlike the passionate longing of the song’s lyrics. Even how the thing is made: the burning of caramel laid in custard, not entirely dissimilar to the way Hannah’s vocals mix into the song’s thick layers of ethereal backing before a flambé of a guitar solo from guitarist Craig Whittle finishes off the song. 

It’s also entirely possible that the title and Hannah’s comments about it are merely deflection, a culinary tongue-in-cheek. That wouldn’t be too out of character for the band, whose approach to self-promotion could be described as somewhat reluctant, especially by today’s standards. And they’ve got form – in one interview, Merrick described the band’s mixture of sorrowful Americana (in the vein of Lera Lynn) as a fusion of “Flashdance and MC Hammer”. It all lends an aura of other-worldliness around a group who seem as tight, implacable and hypnotic on record as they do live.

With a moreish, deceptively simple, country-meets-indie flow set around Merrick’s deadpan Nico-style vocal delivery, ‘Crème Brûlée’ is an impressive choice for a debut release, particularly clocking in at a mammoth six and a half minutes – half of which is pure instrumentation. If you’ve seen the band live, you’ll probably be aware that, although this is a spectacular starter, it’s just a glimpse into what King Hannah can do. They’ve gone straight to dessert, so you’d better have left room for more.


‘Crème Brûlée’ is available to stream on Spotify now.

John McGovern

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