Darkher is the name that it's creator (and tonight's solo performer) Jayn Hanna has been carefully nurturing since her decision to dissolve her previous band The StealsOver a period of several years The Steals produced many great live performances from their ever shifting line up and in addition created one of my favourite albums of all time in "Static Kingdom" - a lush landscape of sound harnessing elements of folk, blues and tribal beats with soaring guitars and drenched with the almost impossible beauty of Jayn Hanna's voice - at once both passionate and haunting.
A lush landscape of sound harnessing elements of folk, blues and tribal beats with soaring guitarsAs the time came to begin the creative process for The Steals second album she found herself wishing to treat the presentation of her songs in a different way with more emphasis on simplifying her delivery - bringing herself to the fore without the guitar layered soundscapes she previously employed. Thus was born Darkher, reflecting in both name and in the titles of the songs which featured tonight - such as "Lament" and "Ghost Tears" - an even more lonely and haunting approach to Jayn's gift for creating dark fairy tales combining a feel of both chilling loneliness and the warmth of hope. A captivating version of the wonderful "Hung" brings to a close a magically atmospheric set epitomising the exciting new direction being taken by an artist behind whose fragile elegance lies a creator of a powerfully emotive work that promises much to very excited about for some time to come.
Powerfully emotive work that promises much to very excited about for some time to comeDarkher perform as a full band at the Trades Club in Hebden Bridge on Friday 1st November to launch their debut EP with support from Little Sparrow. Tickets and details available here. Keep up to date with Darkher on Facebook. All images © Shay Rowan