Oli Hannaford is a 20-year-old singer-songwriter and instrumentalist that like many other exciting emerging stars lives in London. His sound his mainly electronic. But not only. We could describe everything as a mix of several great acts like James Blake, Tom Misch, Paolo Nutini or Jamie XX. And we think everybody will agree, once they get to hear his latest songs.
With so many elements to it, Running Slow, is not a slow song. Contrasting with the title, this is a very pacy song. One that evolves constantly in a way we cannot almost feel a conducting line. It starts slow, that is true. But as it goes on we are embraced with a dancing feel that never really disappears. This is a track with so many distinct elements that even if we try to pay attention to every single detail we end up just letting ourselves go. Probably, a perfect song. And one of the most unique songs of the year. Running Slow was released within the Lust EP. The other and homonymous song Lust is also an indietronica-jazzy track with very surprising variations and once again a very progressive vibe in terms of structure.
His first ever songs Free Things and Lily, also explored this vibe. However, and in our modest opinion they were less progressive, and just a bit more basic, both instrumentally and vocally. Yet the power and the whole electronic-dancing environment were already there. As it was also the dope alert.
It seems that as the creativity pumped, so did the releases. Also this year, Oli released another two-song EP entitled The Crown. The Crown has great similarities with Tom Misch productions. A bit jazzy, classy and almost classic, much of its mesmerizing structure is accomplished through the vocals, sounding good and smooth every single time. Told is the other track, the closest to an indie-pop ballad he ever produced. A bit more contained (but just a bit), The Told is more predictable than any other song, but also because it was supposed to be. As he sings “I’ll deviate from what you’re told, I’ll still surprise you when we’re old”, everything makes sense.
And of course, we wouldn’t feel good about ourselves if we didn’t talk about Berry Gin. Released around the same time as his first EP, this is a hyper-groovy, guitar-based song lead by a great swingy falsetto. A song that surprises us and makes us dance a little every time we play it. No matter where we are. It even brings us back some Motown vibes. Press play one more time, you won’t regret.
You can hear all these songs and some more remixes as well as find the latest about Oli Hannaford in the links below: