15 Mar 2024

Review: Siempre Tiene Flores by Hannah Everingham

From The Sampler, 12:00 pm on 15 March 2024
Hannah Everingham

Photo: Supplied

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Between Bodies, the debut from Christchurch musician Hannah Everingham, blew through 2022 like a gust of fresh air, unique and inviting. It was one of that year’s best albums, and felt like the introduction to an exciting local talent.

Everingham has just released a follow up, and while Between Bodies made an asset of its eclecticism, seemingly recorded and compiled piecemeal, Siempre Tiene Flores is more focused and confident, and confirms the singer-songwriter is doing something that’s hers alone.

It's an album heavy on acoustic guitar, double bass, hand-slapped percussion, and Everingham’s voice. On one hand, a familiar aesthetic, leaning into Latin-American influences, with traces of local singer-songwriters like Hollie Fullbrook and Nadia Reid around the margins. But she’s an artist who, even at this early stage of her career, can fully inhabit a sound-world like this.

Songs occasionally lean into those Latin influences, like second track ‘Maria’, with its lively vibraphone break, and rousing singalong chorus. As that song makes clear, Everingham speaks Spanish, a result of studying languages at the University of Canterbury while completing a physics degree, and making Spanish-speaking friends.

Siempre Tiene Flores translates to ‘always have flowers’, and the music is as generous as that title suggests.

Tracks sung in English, like ‘The Moon Gardener’, contain a bit of Dylan-esque drawl, and a fine sense of storytelling, hitting a periodic refrain that soars and chills. Elsewhere tracks like ‘Don’t Be Crass’ show a healthy sense of humour, detailing various encounters with men, enhanced by a particularly slinky bassline.

The influences from Spain and beyond that bolster Hannah Everingham’s music never feel like homage, just an extension of her existing skill set. Flourishes around the margins from she and her band bolster the character she conveys through words, and Siempre Tiene Flores lets her display a wide range of colours and emotions, all filtered through a laidback musical palette. 

Despite the reference points, I keep coming back to how unique she feels in the local landscape, a raconteur who’s light on her feet, mellifluous, and charming.