Curwood finds cure


Not everyone is lucky enough to travel to London and bump into a music punk legend.

Wanaka native Hannah Curwood, whose band Hannah in the Wars releases its self-titled new album this week, has been working with The Cure’s Roger O’Donnell.

London-based Curwood will play Queenstown next week as part of her New Zealand tour.

She reckons release day can be an anti-climax as you expect a bit of a fanfare.

She tells Mountain Scene she’s going to get some mates together, have a couple of drinks and listen to the album in celebration.

The Hannah in the Wars frontwoman had just moved to London when she met keyboardist O’Donnell through a mutual friend. She says they have the same type of stupid humour which helped build their friendship.

She wasn’t intimidated by working with him and says their relationship meant he was tough and blunt when he needed to be.

“He was very good in the studio. He mainly sat back but interjected when he needed to and offered us some guidance. He has such a wealth of experience with recording, touring and song-writing. It was so valuable to have someone with that experience with us,” she says.

The new album comes after a period of change in her life. She always wanted to travel to the UK and says doing so gave her a certain freedom when it came to writing new music.

While she doesn’t want to box it into any particular genre she says it’s best described as alternative folk.

A self-confessed book-worm, it’s where most of her inspiration comes from: “That spark – the idea comes from reading.”

When pushed on her favourite track she confides it is Quiet Achiever.

It’s a simple arrangement and one she feels lets the lyrics speak for itself.

The new songs are a collection of lyrically robust emotional narratives accompanied by guitar, piano, synth, strings and orchestral percussion.

The album was recorded in O’Donnell’s country home studio and Curwood reckons it evokes the likes of P J Harvey, Anna Calvi and Smog.

Hannah in the Wars will play The Sherwood with Luckless and Will Wood next Tuesday, April 28. Tickets $5.