Paddy Hanna: Frankly, I Mutate review – morphing into a monster musical force

Fri, Mar 2, 2018, 05:00


Frankly, I Mutate

Paddy Hanna

Popical Island


Paddy Hanna has been a cult presence around Dublin city in a variety of bands and as a solo artist on the terrific Popical Island label, which is arguably the closest thing we have to a first-rate incubator for alternative talent in this country.

Formerly of Grand Pocket Orchestra and No Monster Club, Hanna has been doing his own sweet thing for a few years now, and released his debut, Leafy Stiletto, in 2014. On Frankly, I Mutate, Hanna is a perplexing, fascinating and compelling songwriter and performer, revealing shades of Thurston Moore, Richard Hawley, Guided by Voices and The Beach Boys, but always coming across as very much his own man.

The juxtaposition of surreal folk, psychedelia and kitchen-sink realism with a twist might be weird, but it is also very wonderful. Mario Lanza is louche and lean, closely followed by a mysterious dream pop nugget, Reverends Grave, and the fantastic Toulouse the Kisser.

The songs also reveal a multitude of hidden charms and poignant depths. Mario Lanza may be named after the Italian-American singer and mid-20th century Hollywood star, but it is actually inspired by Hanna’s own father having a brush with death.

On his debut, Hanna’s musical vision was very much inspired by the 1970s, but on Frankly, I Mutate, he has mutated into something rather unique and incredibly interesting indeed.