When Hannah Diamond started releasing tunes in 2013 – through experimental label PC Music – there was a rumour that she wasn’t a real person. You only had to hear her robotic vocals and glossy, hyper-real aesthetic to understand why. But in the years that followed her first Soundcloud drops of songs such as the nursery rhyme electronic bop ‘Pink and Blue’, it’s become evident that Diamond is entirely human.
- Read more: Hannah Diamond: PC Music’s audio-visual artist who turned heartbreak into her long-awaited debut album
She’s since released a steady string of singles, collaborated with Charli XCX and maintained a successful career as a visual artist (she’s photographed the likes of Olly Alexander and Migos‘ Offset). Still not convinced she’s a real person? Her glittering debut, ‘Reflections’, is agonisingly human, channelling heartbreak into a collection of shimmering pop tunes.
Diamond’s lyrics are brilliantly straightforward. On ‘Invisible’, a sad banger about spotting your ex dancing with somebody else in a club, she sings, “When I saw you with her / When I saw you kissing her / I can’t get that picture out of my mind”. Then there’s ‘Love Goes On’, which candidly conjures the torture of trying to go out and get over somebody by snogging a stranger: “I went out tonight / I cried once or twice / I met someone new / But he’s not like you”.
Her honesty is complemented by glitchy production from PC Music founder A. G. Cook. Stuffed with twinkling synths, crunchy electronics and Diamond’s woozy vocals, it’s somewhere between Eurodance and bubblegum pop.
‘Shy’ is the most straightforward pop tune on ‘Reflections’, all radio ready hooks and buoyant beats, while cuts such as ‘Fade Away’ climax in banging, trance-inflected breakdowns and ‘Never Again’ amps up the weird with wonky synth licks. This gleaming production works best with the album’s upbeat offerings; slower songs, such as title track ‘Reflections’, can be sluggish lacking the glossy sheen on offer elsewhere.
For the most part, though, Diamond’s debut album sparkles. Harnessing heartbreak and combining it with wickedly odd production, ‘Reflections’ is a shimmering collection of unconventional pop songs. After all that speculation, Hannah Diamond is human after all.
- Release date: November 22
- Record label: PC Music