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New Album: Hannah Marks… Outsider, Outlier

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New Album: Hannah Marks… Outsider, Outlier

Hannah Marks… Outsider, Outlier…

New York City based bassist, composer and educator Hannah Marks shares her empowering full-length debut album OutsiderOutlier via Out Of Your Head Records.

Outsider, Outlier, Hannah Marks’ unapologetic debut album, masterfully blends jazz and rock over ten dynamic tracks that thoughtfully explore the human condition. A well-known rising bassist and jazz musician in New York City, the project allows Marks to present a new side of her versatile, dynamic artistry. Outsider, Outlier documents Marks’ search for belonging, love, and empowerment through examining key relationships in her life. Musically, radical tempo and stylistic changes represent the tumultuous nature of unhealthy relationships and ensuing bouts of anxiety. Marks uses elements of campy musical cliches and musical theater-like melodies to poke fun at her emotions, treat them with playful energy, and create a safe yet cathartic space to process her feelings. Using both the electric and double bass, the album documents her struggle to trust in herself and others — ultimately ending on a hopeful note with the lyric, “What scares you first will help you grow.” 

All music and lyrics were written by Hannah Marks and alongside her, collaborators on the album include Rossy (lead vocals), Lee Meadvin (guitar), Lex Korten (piano), Nathan Reising (alto saxophone), and Connor Parks (drums). The recording is a testament to her resilience during a tumultuous time, during which she took a deep creative dive into her artistic mission and purpose. The album was recorded at Bunker Studios in Brooklyn, NY with Caroline Davis as the in-studio producer and Meadvin heading up all post-production. It was engineered by Todd Carder and mixed and mastered by Meadvin.

The intimate collection allows Marks to reflect on the difficult moments and relationships in her life and proudly celebrate how far she’s come, and how they’ve made her who she is today. “Composed in my early twenties, ‘Outsider, Outlier’ is a manifesto on how to empower yourself by breaking free from harmful relationships,” Marks shares. “The girl that experienced these events was innocent, lonely, and heartbroken, only to emerge a secure, loved, and whole woman.” Blending her deep-rooted jazz education and her love of rock music and her influences, the project carries a sound all its own alongside acclaimed musicians. Marks continues, “Throughout the process of writing this album, I embraced the grunge and experimental rock music I grew up loving but had always set aside in favor of my “serious” jazz pursuits. I chose not to abandon my jazz background, instead gathering a group of accomplished improvisors to bring a free, daring spirit to the music.”

“I’ll Ask Anyway,” out today, reflects the tumultuous period in which it was written–April 2020 as Marks was in the midst of lockdown in her childhood bedroom in Iowa. When writing it, Marks explains, “I dreamt of my new love and battled uncertainties about the future. The folky, ethereal quality of this song reflects the wide open plains and lush greenery of the Heartland.” Despite some melancholic undertones, there is a newfound sense of hope for the future and a healthy relationship ahead that shines through Marks’ vocals. Marks adds, “‘I’ll Ask Anyway’ closes a chapter on heartbreak and rejection, hoping that a wholesome, secure love could be waiting for me around the corner.”

The track’s accompanying video takes viewers throughout New York City between Brooklyn and Manhattan, on transit and throughout the streets. It follows the protagonist, played by actress Julia Dangelo, throughout a series of missed connections. Directed by Cyrus Stowe and shot on film, it’s stylized similarly to the 2009 indie film Daddy Longlegs. It features up-and-coming jewelry designer Hiro Lamarsh, as well as Santiago Mallan, Melissa Mejia, and William Way.

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