True to its name, Constance Hauman’s new album “Tropical Thunderstorm” is like a typhoon of emotions and thoughts. Hauman’s genre-defying and fearless approach to music takes the listening experience to the next level – something which is especially welcome in the age of Covid19. When you find yourself in the middle of “Tropical Thunderstorm”, Constance Hauman will make you forget all about social distancing and travel restrictions. This colorful and personal album will blow your hat off, both literally and figuratively.
Constance Hauman is known as of the most versatile performing artists on today’s contemporary music scene. Following two highly acclaimed solo vocal albums, Hauman recently released a digital EP entitled “The Quarantine Trilogy“. The recording marked Hauman’s first foray as a solo pianist and her first release of purely instrumental music. In December 2020, she released the single “Rare Christmas”. Constance Hauman is also the founder of Isotopia Records.
Taking Some Steps Ahead
The opener is called “Taking Some Steps Ahead”, which is also the album’s first single. In my review, I wrote that: “Taking Some Steps Ahead” is “big, bold and adventuresome. The intro’s layered drums are a true treat for audiophiles. Then Constance Hauman comes on. I love her pop attitude, the laughing (pretended and not pretended), breathing, and vocalization. It is pop and jazz, or something steps ahead of those genres – and it is cool, vibrant, and a statement of Hauman’s incredible vocal abilities.” When I first heard the single, I wondered how it would fit in on the album – and now, listening to the complete “Tropical Thunderstorm”, I see how it sets the bar incredibly high for everything that follows.
Given the context, I think that the solo piano piece “The Howling” is a smart move. After the mighty “Taking Some Steps Ahead”, it gives time to reflect and breathe. It is actually a brilliant piano piece with a stunning conclusion, and I wouldn’t mind listening to a whole album with this exact ambiance. Although here, on “Tropical Thunderstorm”, it is a shelter between two milestone songs by Constance Hauman.
I’m not usually lost for words when it comes to music, but the almost 11 minutes long “Tropical Thunderstorm” rendered me speechless the first time I heard it. But then I realized that the song is about the many storms we face every day and that the multitude of emotions has the power to “set us free”. The jazz vocal/funk crossover soundscape is intense and flamboyant, rich and, most importantly, incredibly well-made. I like the tough yet romantic feminine I in the song and how she seems undaunted confronting this emotional thunderstorm, making the listener too “memorize each detail”, as Hauman sings in the end. Yes, there are many details to cherish here. Bravo!
Next out is “I Didn’t Go To Ben Platt”. It is, like “The Howling”, a mesmerizing solo piano piece. The piano sounds heavenly, and again I found myself adding a track from this to my all-time favorite piano playlist. I don’t know anything about Mr. Ben Platt, but I’m happy that the “I” didn’t go to him, making this piece a reality
With “Swag” Hauman shows how versatile she is as an artist. It is hip, cool, and paints a striking portrait of a “she” – and how she is addicted to “him”. Or is it just erotic chemistry? In contrast, “Boy I Haven’t Done That In A While” shows a completely different set of emotions.
A recurring theme on “Tropical Thunderstorm” is, as you probably have understood by now, love and the search for a soul mate. There are so many questions being asked (and answered!). Is true love really blind? And is love at first sight possible? The hopeful “Away” shows Hauman’s incredible vocal and gives us a few answers along the way.
Something’s In The Hallway
There is a delightful experimental edge to every piece on “Tropical Thunderstorm”. According to the title, “Something’s In The Hallway” seems ordinary – but hiding out there in the corridor is something truly magical. It is an upbeat jazzy piano tune that twists and turns its way into the listener’s heart. And wow, what a rhythm! Nearer the end, “It’s True High” seems to reinstate our belief in love after much emotional turmoil.
If you thought that the album was almost at an end, you were wrong. “Edge of the Sky” is a Daliesque, 17 minutes long work of art. The promise of love is the only constant, waiting at the end of the world.
In conclusion: When listening to Constance Hauman’s “Tropical Thunderstorm”, words like inspired, hard-hitting, genuine, and uncompromising keep popping into my mind. Each song is like an EP in its own right, filled to the brim with artistry, colors, and – for the lack of a better description – thunder. Co-producer Ross Pederson, who also plays the drums, deserves a lot of praise too. I must also mention the mixing and mastering, which is spotless.
“Tropical Thunderstorm” is, in short, an emotionally and musically hard-hitting release by one of the finest singers on the planet.
For more information and music samples, visit constancehauman.com