When we first encountered Hannah Peel, it was 2010 and a beautifully packaged little EP called ‘Rebox’ had just dropped through the door. ‘Rebox’ was a quaint little collection of 80s tunes from the likes of the Cocteau Twins and New Order, recorded in the most DIY way imaginable on a handmade music box. This release brought her the necessary column inches and led to her meeting friends and collaborators Simon Tong and Erland Cooper.
The direct result of this meeting of minds was 2012s ‘Orkney: Symphony of the Magnetic North’, a much more lavish affair with brass and string arrangements. This in part has formed the basis of her latest record, produced by Hannah and Erland, the three track ‘Nailhouse’ EP. Recorded in a literal underground studio in London which Peel describes as “analogue synth heaven” it draws influences from across the world.
Nailhouse is a word used to describe homes belonging to people in China who refuse to leave to make room for development. The tactics used by these developers to remove the occupiers (who are dubbed as ‘stubborn nails’) are as inventive as they are cruel – they dig moats around their homes, switch off all water and power and even build major motorways around their homes.
‘Nailhouse II’ features vocals and handclaps from Chinese girls, recorded on a tape recorder out on the road. While other work is influenced by Italo Calvino’s book ‘Invisible Cities’.
The Nailhouse EP is available as download and on limited edition white vinyl, released today April on The Mitcham Submarine.