Secret Meeting score: 70
by Philip Moss
Sometimes records seem to appear at just the right moment. And as the first flickers of spring have brought a much needed hit of warm sunshine, Hannah Cohen’s Welcome Home has appeared with a microclimate all of its own – and it’s one to make you dance and smile.
Confined by her stuffy Brooklyn apartment, Cohen needed something new, and the decision was made to get out of the city. The result is an LP packed with spacious, sugary pop tunes that more than justify her new life choice. This is none more so the case than on opener and single, This Is Your Life: her airy voice floats atop skipping percussion as she encourages independence – ‘Don’t let someone else carry you through!’ – and the pursuit for happiness on your own terms.
Elsewhere, All I Wanted is the kind of effortless pop tune Rae Morris has been searching for in her desperation to cross over, and Holding On carries a hook filled chorus, but never quite erupts into the anthemic moment it feels it could. Closing pair, Return Room and Build Me Up, however, see the earlier production aesthetics stripped back to bring the record to a end in a more understated manner – predominantly with just voice, acoustic guitar and a looser feeling backing.
With her partner and co-producer – the singer/songwriter, Sam Evian – Cohen has weaved an album of hazy pop, which has a number of moments that are just itching to make their way onto your summer barbecue playlist. Let’s just hope we get the weather to match them.