Title - 'mmhmm'
Artist - mmhmm
When midwest native, Hannah Fairlight, moved to Raelyn Nelson's hometown of Nashville, TN, the people of the village kept confusing them for one another so they formed a band sometime in mid-December of 2016.
The pair have individually gained a lot of traction with their solo projects, but the universe pushed them together to form an acoustic duo.
Their “modern day Hee-Haw Show” has grabbed the attention of the Nashville music scene with features in the East Nashvillian’s “Women in Music” issue that claimed mmhmm was “the breakout duo of the year.”
With catchy melodies, pretty harmonies, Fairlight on acoustic guitar, Nelson on ukulele, both donned with chaps, it’s no wonder that the pair have been voted the “Cutest band around” by local publications.
So, what makes the talented duo work so well? “There are no "no’s" in mmhmm,” Fairlight herself answers. "mmhmm,” agrees Nelson.
Not to be confused with Mmhmm, the fourth album by pop punk band Relient K, mmhmm have just released their vibrantly fun and highly melodic self-titled debut album, mmhmm via their very own label, mmhmm Records.
1. 'Let's Get Together'
2. 'Aw Hell'
3. 'Number Song'
4. 'Up In Smoke (Don't It Have To Wait)'
5. 'Earn My Love'
6. 'Mama's Little Yella Pills'
7. 'Coy Boy'
8. 'Good Love'
9. 'Blue Eyes'
10. 'Take It On The Run'
11. '3am and Sake'
12. 'So Hard To Say Goodbye'
"Hey, what you doing?" asks one of the girls to the other, as she "walks in" on her gently strumming a guitar. "Erm, I'm recording an album," she sheepishly replies. "Well, you're going to put everyone to sleep with all that jazz,", the other one replies. "You need to get with the new sound," she adds.
"What are you talkin' about?" she replies inquisitively, "Like this ... come on, let's compromise. You give a little. I give a little. let's get together," the former adds, striking up a bouncier set of guitar chords. "So, like this ...," the other replies, as she joins in, and then after a confirmational Yep" from the former, the Mmhmm musical show is well and truly on the road, ladies and gentlemen.
Admittedly, and especially with that opening song, there are tracks on here that sound like they belong on early morning children's TV! Rousing, fun, upbeat, insightful, instructing, and yet at all times played with a lo-fi, folk-country appeal, tracks such as the square dance vibe of 'Aw Hell,' the foot-tappin' twang of 'Number Song,' the "the true stories of life" track 'Up In Smoke (Don't It Have To Wait),' and the Americana pop 'Earn My Love' are all worthy of radio play, let alone chart success.
For the most part coming complete with a fun, perky intro, of sorts, to each song, one of my personal favorites is the playful 'Mama's Little Yella Pills' ("... she's bar hoppin' and skipping meals"). Indeed, a perfect example of the lyrical interplay between the ladies, that's followed by the thumbs in pockets, shoulder-dippin' sway of 'Coy Boy.'
The melodic pop-lite gem 'Good Love' is then backed by the low key 'Blue Eyes,' which in turn (after some back and forth banter about a Rising Star Award), leads into a frenetic, yet sung-with-smiles cover of REO Speedwagon's 'Take It On The Run.'
Introducing the next song as nothing to do with what other artists sing about, '3am and Sake' is up next and then, after the girls explaining they have more songs to sing for us, but the album's about to wrap, they come together one last time for the delightful, and hard-to-get-out-of-your-head-once-sung, 'So Hard To Say Goodbye.'
But then, as expected / hoped, the girls have one last stab at a musical continuance with some acoustic guitar giving way to some purposeful electric ones; albeit all for just 30 seconds or so, of course.
Oh, and as for the album itself, here is what the ladies have to say about it. "We feel GREAT about how it came out. It will make you smile. It will make you feel happy. It will probably sound different from anything you’ve heard before. Brad Jones over at Alex The Great in Nashville, TN did a phenomenal job of capturing the spirit of ‘mmhmm’."
Hannah Fairlight @ Facebook!
Raelyn Nelson @ Facebook!