Paddy Hanna’s new songs – ‘ambitious but intimate’

Dublin singer-songwriter Paddy Hanna.
Dublin singer-songwriter Paddy Hanna.

Groove Tube with Jimi McDonnell – tribunegroove@live.ie

With a voice that has echoes of Morrissey and a songwriting style that’s off-kilter but catchy, Paddy Hanna is a songwriter to watch out for. The affable Dubliner comes to Róisín Dubh on Thursday next, October 12, plugging his latest single Bad Boys. Speaking from Howth, Paddy explains how the song came about.

“It came together very quickly, in about an hour,” he says. “Usually the most memorable songs are the ones you cook up very quickly.

“Part of the song’s appeal is the fact that it has a 1960s style arrangement, almost in the style of Burt Bacharach,” he continues. “But it’s sung in a style of a modern dance song, with a repetitive vocal motif.

“There’s no way a song like that would exist if I stopped and asked the question ‘why am I doing this?’. The song very much came about because I wrote it in an hour. If I stopped and stewed over it, it would never come about.”

Is that Paddy’s usual approach to songwriting, or does he allow other songs to percolate?

“I have ones that percolate,” he says. “I try to be cryptic when I write, because I want people to draw their own conclusion. I try not to be very on the nose, though sometimes I have to be, depending on what it is I’m trying to say. In my song Camaraderie, that’s very much what I see, what’s happening in front of me. But other times I’ll want to play around with themes that need further exploring.”

Bad Boys was produced by Daniel Fox, who plays bass with the acclaimed indie outfit Girl Band.  Paddy is a ‘huge fan’ of the group, and was delighted when they started working together.

“We just got chatting to each other at gigs, and we bonded over one another’s music.  Then, through a mutual acquaintance, we talked about working together, with him on the production side and me on the songwriting side.”

The lush 1960s sound of Bad Boys can be credited to Daniel, who sought to emulate one of the most successful producers of that era.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.