"With a voice redolent of Marianne Faithfull's world-weary vulnerability, balladeer Hannah Gillespie presents her carefully constructed songs with honesty and truth. A vivid compendium of story and emotions, Hannah’s vignettes are both joyful and bitter, treading a delicate path through the pathos of the countryesque songbook without sticking to the rules. A little toe tapping, a little gin drinking, but always the sweetest thing..."
Hannah was born and raised in Majors Creek, on Yuin Country, in the Southern Tablelands of NSW. It’s a one-pub kind of place. Small as it may be, Majors Creek is firmly embedded on the Australian musical map as the township that hosts the Majors Creek Festival – a much loved event established in 1992 and the brainchild of Hannah’s father Pete Gillespie.
Music was an everyday occurrence in the Gillespie household, with never a tune too far from the kitchen table - the folk music tradition has always been a part of Hannah’s life. It was only a matter of time before she picked up a guitar and started to write. Hannah undertook formal studies in performance and composition and went on to play widely with a diverse array of collaborators, including Jane Williams (Moruya/Melbourne singer/songwriter) and Tom Jones (The Re-mains, Leah Flannagan Band) as the band August and then The August Collective.
Hannah’s debut solo album Growing up Stupid was recorded under the watchful production eyes of Duncan Lowe and Kevin Nicol (Noiseworks) and was released in 2009. It encompassed a vast array of musical influences in a collection of beautifully crafted songs, brought to life by some of the region’s finest players, including bass player Matt Nightingale – a musical partnership that still continues today.
Hannah’s second album, All The Dirt, saw renowned musician/producer Ken Stringfellow (The Posies, R.E.M, Big Star) at the helm. It lent pop sensibilities to strong folk orientation, resulting in a colourful and engaging sound framing Hannah's emotive song writing and powerful voice. The album received strong reviews and earned a place in the long list for the Australian Music Prize.
With the birth of her child Hannah took a step back from writing and performing, instead turning her attention towards directing the Majors Creek Festival. This way she was able to focus on her family and maintain a rich connection with creativity and the industry she is so passionate about.
In late 2021, a chance discovery via a song writing competition, hosted by Kasey Chambers, was the catalyst for a new phase in her career. Hannah is now focussed on the completion of a new album with Kasey in the producer’s chair and a world-class band bringing her new suite of songs to life.