Albums‎ > ‎

Jeff Hanson - Madam Owl (08/19/08)

  • CD is reviewed by Andrew
Madam Owl

Release Date: 08/19/08

Track Listing
  1. Night         
  2. Your Only Son     
  3. If Only I Knew         
  4. Maryann         
  5. Nothing Would Matter at All     
  6. I Don't Quite Remember     
  7. Careful         
  8. The Last Thing I'll Do     
  9. Wrong Again         
  10. No Never Mine         
  11. The Hills         
  12. This Friend of Mine    



Latest Announcements

  • The Growlers release NEW LP "CASUAL ACQUAINTANCES" LOS ANGELES, CA - From their first LP Are You In or Out? (2009) to their latest LP Casual Acquaintances (2018), The Growlers have forged their own twisted path on the ...
    Posted Sep 29, 2018, 9:01 AM by Vu Nguyen
  • DeVotchKa release This Night Falls Forever and 2018 Tour Photo Credit: Manmade Media The multi-genre ensemble DeVotchKa return today with the release of their new full-length album This Night Falls Forever, available now on Concord Records. As ...
    Posted Sep 29, 2018, 8:51 AM by Vu Nguyen
Showing posts 1 - 2 of 3481. View more »

 08/19/2008 00:31:02  written by andrew ()
Tour Dates
08/23/08 Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock
09/15/08 Seattle, WA @ Chop Suey
09/16/08 Portland, OR @ Towne Lounge
09/17/08 Davis, CA @ The Old Firehouse
09/18/08 SF, CA @ Bottom of the Hill
09/24/08 Denver, CO @ Hi Dive
09/26/08 Boise, ID @ Neurolux

[Jan 2003] Son

[Feb 2005] Jeff Hanson

[Aug 2008] Madam Owl

Milwaukee-born, St. Paul-based Jeff Hanson is full of surprises. Having been briefly acquainted with him socially through a mutual friend some seven years ago I was amazed by the news: Jeff had signed with Kill Rock Stars. THE Kill Rock Stars? Yes; he mailed them a demo and they went nuts for it. Who knew THAT actually worked? My second surprise came some time later, in 2003 when my roommate walked in the door proudly holding a copy of Jeff's newly released debut. He immediately commandeered the living-room stereo and plugged the disc in. Having no idea what to expect, I was pleased with Jeff's folksy, stripped down, singer-with-guitar style. I liked it immediately. So, who's the woman singing? I asked. That's Jeff. No, no, the SINGER, I enunciated. No, no, that's Jeff. None of us spoke again for a good ten minutes; weighed down by the enormity of that concept and stunned into silence as song after song washed over us. Because, you see; Jeff sings in a whispery falsetto that would make angels weep. There. I said it. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, upon first contact with his über-soothing soprano, mistakes it for a woman's voice.

It's at this point that I'd like to take a step back and point out that I asked for this assignment, in fact I begged for it. But in many ways what I was seeking was an impossible mission. I can't describe Jeff Hanson's voice. And I've given up on trying. It simply must be experienced. Listen to the embedded track. Listen to it twice if you need to. Listen to it twice, go make yourself a cup of coffee, smoke a cigarette, or whatever your vice of choice, then come back and read the rest of this. Because if you still haven't wrapped your head around the fact that YOU ARE LISTENING TO A MAN SINGING, you really won't be paying any attention to anything else I have to say. If you think I'm overreacting: you probably haven't clicked on the embed yet.

It is my theory that Jeff Hanson has suffered somewhat as a result of his unique voice. Many see it as an oddity, an aberration. It attracts gawkers and curiosity-seekers their to pay their nickel to see The Amazing Man Who Sings Like A Woman, and having only given him a glimpse, they soon move on, presumably in search of Dogboy or The Bearded Lady.

Those people will soon realize their mistake.

Jeff Hanson has finally recorded an album - his third, "Madam Owl," released today - befitting his amazing vocals. This should in no way be construed as a knock on his previous two albums, but I firmly believe that this is the album that will finally launch him from "That Guy Who Sings Like A Girl" to "Jeff Hanson." Certainly, there still need to be a lot of introductions that will likely begin with "Check it out: this dude sounds like a chick," and from personal experience I can tell you it's quite a conversation starter. But honestly, it's past time for this guy to get some respect. It can't be easy for a falsetto-wielding folkster signed to a label known more for its Riot Grrrls than its soulful balladeers. But he's long ago made peace with that and this album is an engraved invitation for the rest of us to follow suit. The solo, man-with-guitar style that has become his signature is well-represented in Madam Owl, but unlike previous offerings, an ensemble backing band makes this album at times downright orchestral. Violin, cello, trumpet, trombone, saxophone, accordion, and… is that "saw" I see in the liner notes? As capable as The Voice is, increasingly varied instrumentation frames it in such a way that he no longer has to concern himself with the need to vocally carry the album, supported only by his single guitar. He has long done that bit well - extremely well - but much of this album shows a change of tactics that works beautifully.

I'm going to repeat myself: It simply must be experienced. Listen to the embed a third time. Download "If Only I Knew" free from the Kill Rock Stars site. Buy the album. Play it for a friend. If you're looking for a conversation starter, try: "Check it out: this dude sounds like a chick."


Jeff Hanson CD Release Party Aug 23rd at Triple Rock (Minneapolis)

28 July 2008, 10:51AM CDT by vu (Vu Nguyen)

From Devious Planet




Jeff Hanson - Madam Owl (08/19/08)
July 18, 2008 (New York, NY) Nobody but nobody sings quite like Jeff Hanson, and singularity has its price. This is something that Jeff Hanson has had to accept over the years. “Otherworldly,” is a preferable adjective to the lazy and far more common observation, “Wait a minute, is this is a dude singing?” In actuality, however, his music demonstrates (along with his unusual voice) meticulously crafted pop and masterful songwriting. Jeff Hanson’s influences are largely beside the point. “I want this to be a Jeff Hanson record,” says the 30 year-old veteran songwriter of his third LP for the now legendary Kill Rock Stars label “Madam Owl.” And so it is.

The record is his third to be released on Kill Rock Stars following his debut “Son” and an eponymously titled sophomore effort. The street date for the release is August 19th, however, Pitchfork will be hosting the premier of the record’s first single “If I Only Knew” starting today.

This record truly represents the work of a masterful young artist and creative force at the top of his game. Often in the past his voice has filled the void left by what were comparatively sparse arrangements. On “Madam Owl” (the name comes from an unused potential song-title) a bent towards the baroque allows Jeff’s voice to find its harmonious place in an ensemble of timeless instruments, rather than fill the role of the instruments themselves. This is really truly one of the year’s most impressive releases.

Download "If Only I Knew" from Jeff Hanson's "Madam Owl," out on Kill Rock Stars August 19th, 2008
22 July 2008, 7:19AM CDT by vu (Vu Nguyen)
From Fanatic


Madam Owl
(Kill Rock Stars)

After having released Jeff Hanson’s universally acclaimed debut Son, and his similarly embraced self-titled second album, Kill Rock Stars is proud to be a part of this talented singer-songwriter’s latest effort in a musical career spanning more than a decade. Jeff Hanson will be releasing his third LP, Madam Owl, for the now legendary label August 19th, 2008

This record, like its two predecessors, contains a set of pop-music symphonies, every one of which feels like it could be the record’s single. Not that this album marks a radical departure from the Jeff Hanson of his previous two records –  the essential elements are all still here. As nobody sings quite like Jeff Hanson, Billboard proposes “Hanson's reedy voice pairs gorgeously with his simple, poignant arrangements and even makes the most morose moments affecting.” Along with his remarkable voice is another quality for which Jeff has earned a reputation: consistency. The bare acoustic prettiness of his debut Son and the handcrafted pop-cleverness of Jeff Hanson have been developed here even further. On Madam Owl (the name comes from an unused potential song title), a bent towards the baroque allows Jeff’s voice to find its harmonious place in an ensemble of timeless instruments rather than fill the role of the instruments themselves.

Now at 30, Jeff is able to demonstrate the calm and assured self-possession of a true veteran. Jeff Hanson’s Madam Owl is now available for pre-order from Kill Rock Stars,  every order also comes with a free album poster. Buy it HERE.


“It's his rich language and articulate guitar work that ultimately hold a listener’s attention.” – Time Out New York

“...this song (‘If Only I Knew’), from his forthcoming third album Madam Owl on Kill Rock Stars, is nicely balanced and sweetly melodic, as he sings the tune atop a bed of plucked banjo, horns, and a stuttering drum beat.” – Pitchfork (LINK)




c. E-CARD EMBED CODE: <a href="" target="new"><img src=""></a>