Reflections on Hannah Diamond’s “Hi”

There’s an almost-palpable pregnant pause as people wait (and wait and wait) for Hannah Diamond to put the finishing touches on her debut EP, Reflections, due out god-knows-when. With six singles and a handful of feature spots drip-drip-dripping out since 2013, it feels like it might finally be happening.

Very little is known about Hannah: she’s in her 20s, she grew up in Norwich, she loves fashion and she’s a photographer in addition to being a musician. That’s pretty much it; although, at the very beginning of her career, one was able to find an interview on YouTube, in which she described herself as “always heartbroken” and “really unlucky in love” – but this was removed years ago.

Anyone born after 1988 will be only too familiar with the world Hannah exists in. Her lyrics read like text message drafts on an old Nokia, never sent but never deleted. You won’t find any songs about sex, twerking, partying or ‘drinky-poos’ with her girlfriends in the club. Instead, you’ll find desperately melancholic songs about being alone in her bedroom, feeling invisible, unrequited love, insecurity and waiting for an alert to tell her that her crush has just logged into MSN, only for her to be too shy to talk to him anyway. The simple, unassuming nature of her lyrics, and the vulnerability with which they are delivered, ends up being very disarming and you can’t help but realise how courageous it is to share these feelings and experiences in such an unrefined, unfiltered way. The designer clothes and boundless Photoshop retouches are dissonant with her unapologetic honesty and fragility, but it’s somehow all brought together to become a universal language.