Award-Winning Canadian Singer-Songwriter Lynne Hanson Has Released Her Ninth Studio Album
Ottawa, Canada-based, award-winning singer-songwriter Lynne Hanson has released her ninth studio album, Ice Cream in November. The independent release on Hanson’s Panda Cave Records marks a bit of an evolution for her. While not abandoning her Americana roots, Ice Cream in November continues the sonic shift that permeated her 2020 release, Just Words.
“I don’t want to keep making the same record over and over again,” Hanson says. “Getting outside of my artistic comfort zone and trying new things is what keeps things fresh for me at this point in my career. Over the course of the last three or four years, I think I’ve grown more adventurous with the kinds of songs I’m writing and the production approaches when recording them. I think this is one of the reasons that I still get excited about writing songs and making records. On the new album, there are definitely production techniques and sounds that you would never have found on some of my earlier recordings.”
This continued musical exploration lends a more contemporary sound to Ice Cream in November, one that incorporates synthesizers, ethereal guitar pads, and even the odd electronic drum track, all co-existing quite beautifully alongside Hanson’s trademark whiskey-soaked alto. Co-produced and engineered by Hanson and multi-instrumentalist Blair Michael Hogan, and mixed and mastered by Grammy-nominated sound engineer Phil Shaw Bova, the album was recorded by Hanson and Hogan in their respective home studios over a two-month period in late summer 2021.
To whet fans’ appetites, Hanson released three singles in the lead up to the launch of "Ice Cream In November: “Shadowland,” a surfy, Hank Marvin-esque guitar and spaghetti western song, the fresh-but-retro “Hip Like Cohen,” and “Hundred Mile Wind,” an Americana stunner.
If the disparate sounds of the three singles didn’t already share the memo, the songs on Ice Cream in November cover a broad range of genres. “In on a Wing” and “One of Those Days” have an indie-rock feel to them, with tongue-in-cheek lyrics that are unpredictably clever. Longtime fans will be happy to know the Hanson trademark red dirt is alive and well in tracks like “Birds Without a Feather.” Listeners may find themselves hypnotized by the dreamy hooks of the title track, “Ice Cream in November,” or lost in thought at the questions posed in “Orion’s Belt”: “Like why do songbirds like to sing / Why quicksand isn’t quick at all / And space and time is a relative thing.” And while Hanson still touches on heartache, songs like “Dominoes” and “This Heart of Mine” have a lot more swagger than sorrow to them.
Hanson began touring with Hogan, an in-demand session musician, in February 2020, and the two began co-writing together in January of 2021. Nine of the 12 songs on Ice Cream in November are Hanson/Hogan co-writes. The writing collaboration started when Hanson offered to add a vocal melody and lyrics to an instrumental piece Hogan had posted on social media. This song would eventually become the title track to the new album. “It was an entirely new process for me to have to not only co-write remotely, but to develop lyrics and a vocal melody to a song structure that already existed,” says Hanson. “And, in some cases, I was working with chord progressions that may not have been what I would have chosen. It was challenging and liberating at the same time, and it really got me out of the writing funk I was in.” At some point during the writing and demo-ing process, the pair decided to record the album.
Hanson is no stranger to recording. Since 2006, she’s released eight studio albums - including Heartbreak Song for The Radio, a multi-award-winning album which she co-produced as one half of The LYNNeS. But there’s a big difference between being in the studio and actually being responsible for capturing audio. “The idea of self-engineering my own album was terrifying,” says Hanson. “Prior to 2020, I had never even owned a single piece of recording equipment. So having a talent like Phil ready to mix and master the album gave me the confidence that we could actually do this ourselves.”
Hanson felt that her recording experience, paired with Hogan’s versatility as a musician, meant they could track the majority of the album themselves. The drums were another story, however. “We knew we wanted real drums on the album, and that was definitely above my pay grade to record properly, so we were really excited when Phil also agreed to lay down the drum tracks,” Hanson says. While they played the lion’s share of the instruments on the album, Hanson and Hogan also enlisted the help of a few other musician friends, some of whom include include Peter Klaassen on upright bass, Steve Marriner (MonkeyJunk) on harmonica, Raphael Weinroth-Browne on cello, and Caroline Brooks (Good Lovelies) on backing vocals.
Not having the pressure of being on the clock in a commercial studio where time is money, Hanson had the freedom to experiment with arrangements, sounds, and instrumentation on every track. But there was also a downside to having no time limit. “With a home studio it’s possible to endlessly tinker with a song,” she says. “At one point I had to really hunker down and set deadlines and a schedule just to be able to get each song to the finish line. But all in all, I have to say that I’m really proud of what we’ve accomplished with this album, both in terms of the songs themselves, as well as the quality of the production.”
Hanson plans to tour in spring and summer. Confirmed tour dates are listed below; fans should check her website and social media for more information.
May 4 - TURNHOUT, BE - Het Keizershof
May 6 - AALSMEER, NL - De Oude Veiling
May 7 - BAARS, NL - Speelplaats Theater
May 8 - HAPS, NL - Theatre De Steenakker
May 11 - EDE, NL - Live Stage Marnix
May 12 - TERHEIJDEN, NL - Witte Kerkje / Open Road Sessions
May 13 - STUTTGART, DE - Laboratorium
May 14 - DUISBURG, DE - House Concert
May 15 - LIPPENHUIZEN, NL - Piterkerk Lippenhuizen
May 16 - EINDHOVEN, NL - De Maandag van Van Meurs @ Muziekgebouw
May 18 - VERDEN, DE - Alte Kornbrennerei
May 19 - BERGEDORF - Club am Donnerstag (Happy Billard)
May 20 - BORDESHOLM, DE - Savoy
May 21 - ELMSHORN, DE - Musik Nacht
May 22 - NORDERSTEDT, DE - Music Star
May 24 - Schwäbisch Hall, DE
May 25 - REDDING, FR - Le Cotyledon
May 26 - EPINAL, FR - La Souris Verte
May 27 - PARIS, FR - Centre Culturel Canadien
May 28 - Nilvange, FR - Le Gueulard Plus
June 11 - SHAWVILLE, QC - Little Red Wagon Winery
June 12 - WENTWORTH-NORD, QC - Rickk’s Room
June 18 - EAGANVILLE, ON - Off The Grid Productions
June 19 - VANKLEEK HILL, ON - Gallery
June 24 - OTTAWA, ON - Harmony Concerts / First Unitarian Church
June 25 - TRENTON, ON - The Old Church
July 23 - KEMPTVILLE, ON - Kemptville Live Music Festival
Aug 17 - PERTH-ANDOVER, NB - Oak Tree
Aug 18 - FREDERICTON, NB - Grimross Brewing
Aug 19 - MONCTON, NB - Happy Craft Brewing
Aug 20 - LUNENBURG, NS - Outdoor concert series
Lynne Hanson is a two-time Canadian Folk Music Award winner, a recipient of the Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award, winner of the Blues and Roots Radio International Song Contest, two-time Folk Music Ontario Blues Award winner, a two-time Indie Acoustic Project Alt-Country album of the year winner, and a two-time Kerrville New Folk finalist. She is an international touring artist, having performed at festivals and venues across Canada, the United States, Europe, and the United Kingdom. Hanson has appeared at leading international festivals including Take Root (Netherlands), Glasgow Americana (Scotland), Maverick Festival (UK), Kerrville Folk Festival (US), and Winnipeg Folk Festival (Canada). She’s toured as support for Grammy-nominated artists like Gretchen Peters, Steve Forbert, and Albert Lee.