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Jeff Hanson: 'Nothing Would Matter At All'

Singer-songwriter Jeff Hanson has one of the most incredible and truly unique voices you'll ever hear. At least, that is, from a guy. Upon hearing Hanson's third full-length record, Madam Owl, the first thing anyone will notice is the singer's impossibly high voice that sounds more like a female vocalist than a 30 year old man. But if you listen closer, there is far more to Hanson's music than his beautiful singing. The warm strings and acoustic guitars that back his sparkling falsetto are equally as dramatic, and the sound he has created is huge and anthemic in spite of his modest solo artist oeuvre.

From the opening of the record, this is clearly a different breed of singer-songwriter. The heavy rumble of barrel drums and the crashing cymbals on "Night" lend it a large, orchestral feel as Hanson's emotive voice soars over a bed of powerful strings. The song has a certain theatricality about it that makes it very moving. "Nothing Would Matter At All" is another high point, where the smooth horns give the song a '50s crooner feel, but with some obvious unique departures.

"The solo guy with an acoustic guitar, in my mind, seems to me to be the hardest path to take," Hanson says. "Let's be honest, there's a billion of us out there, so I truly feel fortunate to have something that stands out in a really crowded field of singer-songwriters." Hanson says he's become accustomed to constant comments about his impossibly high voice over the years. "When I was about 10 years old, I took a lead role in my elementary school's musical, but I had to sing the girls' songs because I was the only one who could hit the high notes, so I guess I'm pretty used to it."

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Conor McKay