Three Albums that Define the Musical Upbringing of Hannah Epperson

Definitive Records asks interesting Vancouverites to sift through their memories and pull out the three albums that anchor their musical tastes. Today we hear from violinist, singer and songwriter, Hannah Epperson.

The worldly young musician, who is currently based in New York, will be returning to Vancouver as the second of four artists taking part in “Soft Cedar”, The Cultch’s new monthly series of unconventional performances, on March 24 at the York Theatre. The date also marks the official release of her new album, Slowdown.

Bjork – Homogenic | LISTEN

“The entire Bjork discography may as well be part of my bloodstream since I’ve been listening to Bjork since I could walk. Homogenic may have left the deepest impression on me, though, because I’ve been listening to it for over 20 years now. I remember when that album came out and I couldn’t stop listening to it. I was 10, starting to want to cut my teeth as a double-digit-year-old, and Bjork just seemed to know how to conjure entire aural worlds into existence, and I wanted to be in them. There are such incredible, immense oceans of string arrangements on that record too. I remember doing a personal research project in elementary school on Iceland that year, because it was the most scholastic approach I could think of to being able to do a report on Bjork and the actual world that she came from. I also remember so vividly her singing about “emotional landscapes” in her song “Joga”, and I was so moved as a kid – and now, really – thinking of emotions having all the dimensions that landscapes do. Who knows, maybe that’s how I ended up majoring in Human Geography.”

The Cranberries – To The Faithful Departed | LISTEN

“This was the first CD I bought with my own money. I went through a thing with Dolores O’Riordan in elementary school (big heart, big capacity for ALL the cool girls, clearly). Part of it was how savage she could be in her vocal deliveries. She was so unabashed, fearless. I think I was sort of fascinated by this woman who was so alluring and beautiful and big, but wasn’t like … trying to be a hot girl somehow, hahaha. She had short hair and would sometimes just spit these vocals that were about hard subjects. I grew up with three big brothers and was always sort of puzzled by the gender binary, and Dolores seemed to be straddling both worlds. I loved her for that. I cut my hair really short to look like hers when I was in fourth grade. And all this childhood idolatry aside, I still fucking love listening to The Cranberries.”

Yo-yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, Mark O’Connor – Appalachia Waltz | LISTEN

“I had a really amazing violin teacher when I lived in Salt Lake City. I think she realized that my musical interests and passions were deviating from the classical repertoire when I was in junior high. I was starting to listen more and more to folk music, learning tunes by ear from a really fine fiddle player and falling into deeper enchantment with the folkloric world that surrounds a lot of old timey music. So she recorded a cassette tape for me of Appalachia Waltz, a beautiful record of traditional songs that had been given these absolutely gorgeous classical arrangements. I would listen to that cassette tape – both sides A and B – almost every night before I went to bed, for a few years! This was an absolutely essential record in the bending of my ear to be able to recognize and yearn for the interplay of different genres.”

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