It is more than apt that George O’Hanlon is making his recorded debut with The Storm EP. Away from a stage or a microphone, the 21 year-old from Dorking might seem more inclined to simply shoot the breeze. Yet like nature itself, which with little warning can stir from merest whispers into a devastating tempest, through music O’Hanlon has the power to connect with some truly elemental forces.
The Storm EP’s opening, and title, track makes this point with a smoldering beauty. From its gentle acoustic opening, O’Hanlon’s bare emotions are there for all feel, vocally running a spectrum from earthy to angelic, before the song first swells and then bursts with an intense passion worthy of its title.
“I switch into a very different person when I play or write music,” admits the singer-songwriter of the contrast between George O’Hanlon with a guitar in his hands and George O’Hanlon without one. “It's a very different person to who I am walking down the street or whatever. I really like to be in that moment. I think that's the whole point of music is that connection between people when you're on stage or when they are listening. That moment is so important.”
The Storm EP is certainly ready to extend that connection. The four tracks are an immersive gust of horizon-spanning passion that ebbs and flows between raw feelings and warming emotional embers. Accompanying Storm is the vividly drawn This Town, which simmers with hope and frustration; The Weight shimmers between a fragility yet a firm resolution, while Explanation is an intoxicating flare of heart-stirring fireworks. Built around bright guitars and sky-chasing melodies, O’Hanlon’s vocals fizz with scuffed-up personal experience, yet when they need to, soar with a fresh personal passion.
The foundations for this impressive debut can be traced back to O’Hanlon’s teenage years when he set out to acquire musical skills in the same his contemporaries amassed social media likes.
“I just always loved singing,” says O’Hanlon who found himself recruited in various school choirs. “Really though, it was always quite a private thing for me at the time it never really felt like anything I needed to share. It was it's just something that I really loved doing.”