Ghosts seem to haunt every second of Hannah Rose Platt’s Deathbed Confessions. Inhabiting a widescreen wonderland, Platt creates a landscape filled with both the horror and humor that haunts listeners. Her voice, a surprisingly flexible instrument, shades these recordings in ways that bring out the competing emotions in play. Her narratives, both surreal and sentimental, engage and intrigue.
The chug of ‘Dead Man on the G Train’ pulls out telling a tale of betrayal as old as time, yet she makes it work by the detailed nuance she uses in setting the scene. The musical sounds of the train pulling away from the station serve to underscore the unholy alliance of killer, prey and plotter. Packing it all into a mere 4:29 is quite a trick, yet Platt proves eminently capable of the task.
Imbued with sadness, ‘Hedy Lamarr’ takes on the legend of the woman who was not only a Hollywood star, but a wartime inventor. The combination of piano and guitar aided by drums and strings, fills the song with longing. Sea mythology ensnares ‘The Mermaid and the Sailor’, where producer Ed Harcourt voices the sailor whose end is secured when he enters the ocean with his watery lover.
Leading a full out assault on the senses, ‘Feeding Time for Monsters’ assaults belief systems. Stirring things up with an unsettling opening string section, the song continually builds and releases tension. Living the never-ending nightmare, Platt establishes the haunting nature of her life, “In the house that haunts me/ The flickering lights are blue/ Sirens wail outside/ For you.”
Even more haunting than the opening track, ‘Dead Man’s Reprise’ is a lesson in atmospherics, taking the opening them and laying in a most spooky counterpoint to the original song. “Inventing the Stars” also appears twice on the album. Initially serving to clean the palate as the transition from the first to second half of collection begins. The longer version serves to end the album, allowing us to read the unscripted credits to our emotions. In this form the song shines like a diamond in the night sky with strings and horns building to a gorgeous crescendo of sound.
The men and women that are sung about on Deathbed Confessions serve to highlight the talent Hannah Rose Platt to has to tell a tale that haunts, while still having the kind of appeal that keeps one coming back, not just for the thrill of the tale but the unbridled excitement of listening to a woman who knows how to craft music to create lasting memories.
Words by: Bob Fish