“Brand New Sun” is the bold debut CD from Nashville native singer-songwriter Lisa Hannah. All of the songs were written or co-written by Lisa, offering courageously honest lyrics containing hard-won insights gained during the course of her personal journey. Her music is textured, kinetic, melodic and fresh, with a pop-rock vibe akin to U2, The Verve, Sarah McLachlan, Aimee Mann and other alternative artists.
Recorded in Nashville at various studios over the span of eighteen months, “Brand New Sun” was produced by Paul Nielsen along with brilliant local talents Paul Taylor and Chip Martin, the three of whom share the guitar and keyboard credits. A stellar lineup of backing musicians also contributed to the project, including Tony Morra and Derek Mixon (drums), Glen Snow (bass), Mark T. Jordan (keyboards) and Jon Conley (slide guitar).
Growing up in Nashville, Lisa was introduced to country music at an early age, but her musical tastes soon changed to rock when her mother, Donna, turned her onto The Beatles, The Doors, Aerosmith, and other iconic rock bands and artists of the 60’s and 70’s. Lisa was an only child and had a very close relationship with her mother. “We were like two children growing up together, since we were closer in age than the typical mother-daughter scenario.” In 2004, Donna was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and Lisa moved in to care for her. “It was during those months of taking care of my Mom, as I watched her struggle for life, that I realized that each day, each moment, and every breath is precious.”
It was also during this time that Lisa went through a period of deep reflection spent processing the pain and the challenges that her own life had presented. “I basically did a life inventory and challenged myself to find purpose and good in everything.” Many songs came out of this introspection, some of which are included on “Brand New Sun,” which is dedicated to Lisa’s mother. “She was such an inspiration to appreciate every moment, every person, and everything in this beautiful life. That even in despair and pain, there is beauty and love, which sustains us all.”
As with life itself, the tracks on the album cover the gamut of emotions. The album kicks off with the infectious groove and whimsical, thought-provoking lyric of “Whatever You’re Looking For,” which finds Lisa reminding herself (and the listener) that our perspective is of our own choosing. “The Gift of Time,” the CD’s soulful second track, delves further into this theme, revealing the healing nature of time. “Some Loose Ends (Are Better Left Untied),” provides an unflinching look at how Lisa has chosen to deal with the intense pain of an estranged father-daughter relationship.
Lisa has prevailed over the adversity she has experienced. Her positive outlook on life is abundantly evident in tracks such as “Making New Memories,” with its driving three-quarter time groove laid down by Tony Morra and richly layered keyboard track assembled by Paul Taylor. The stately, atmospheric production of “Never Left the Garden” provides the perfect sonic backdrop for the powerful message contained in the lyric.
The CD closes with the delightful, jangly title track, “Brand New Sun,” which features some very cool retro electric guitar riffs from Chip Martin and soaring vocal harmonies by Lisa and producer Paul Nielsen.
“Writing and recording this record has been such an emotional journey, but I had the help of many musically talented Angels and friends to help me through. It’s been very therapeutic. Music allows you to express emotions you can’t express in any other way.”