IYVES is bringing nature to soul music with her upcoming release Let the Water Run.
Hannah Taxman, a Colorado native who began her career as HANAH, currently works on progressing her music out of bustling Brooklyn, New York. With a new pseudonym, IYVES, she marks her transition into a new, promising stage of her career as an alternative soul/R&B artist. Her effortlessly fluid lyrics embody her raw talent at not just creating eccentric sounds with producer, Luca Buccellati (producer of Tei Shei, Ryan Egan, and Yellerkin), but also at creating monumental lyrics that transcend into a sort of spiritualism for the masses. Influenced by artists such as James Blake and Otis Redding, and with her idiosyncratic edge, IYVES captures a fresh take on the alternative soul genre stemming from the juxtaposition of modernity and traditionalism.
IYVES laid the foundation for her lyrics with her upbringing in the striking Boulder, Colorado. “I spent a lot of time writing outdoors and just being out in nature. I live in New York, I have to create that type of environment for myself. I think, even more so, it’s speaking in my music because there’s a longing of being back in that place,” IYVES reminisces about her hometown. She grew up dabbling in poetry and writing fiction, but her passion rested in songwriting, a talent that would flourish in her adulthood. With early influences of 90s R&B female talents Destiny’s Child and Beyoncé, which pushed her to start writing her own pop songs, she never forgot the soulful, famed jazz musicians of the 1950s. Although her music reflects the modern movement of synthesized smooth sounds, her influences resonate in her style and vocals.
I spent a lot of time writing outdoors and just being out in nature. I live in New York, I have to create that type of environment for myself.
[/fusion_text][fusion_text]With IYVES’ new EP Let the Water Run to be released soon, she discusses her influences now. “As of lately, I really love James Blake and his soulful voice, how he puts it in a completely new environment and takes a lot of risks with production, I think he’s really cool in the world of music,” she says.
With other influences coming predominantly from the UK, such as SOHN and Jessie Ware, she mentions that, “these are definitely the forefront of people that I aspire to be.” Her music epitomizes a genuine stance, with helpful intentions meaning to transport people to another place, even another state of mind. She explains, “I think, I realized with both production and with the lyrical content that takes them into my world, but it’s a shared place. I like to think of my music as this place between the earth and outer space, somewhere in between, whatever that is, sort of like this new world where people can get lost in that.”
A lot of consideration and thought also goes into the album artwork, created by New York-based artist Nadia Westcott. Since she started releasing music as HANAH, her chaotic and geometric designs inspired by African and Native American art remain a consistent theme. “I always loved art and thought it would fit the world of music,” she says. “Nadia said she really heard a lot of geometric, rock shapes. So we talked and I really liked to collaborate with other artists and other mediums.” Although the artwork has stayed consistent, she doesn’t shy away from designs which evolve along with her music.
Authenticity is a noble quality in her work, something she stresses to aspiring musicians and songwriters. Her ego is not one that obnoxiously overshadows her work as often occurs with other musicians; she approaches it with grace. “So that gut reaction, that’s the most you. You don’t have a chance to filter whatever people might think, or take too much outside influence, but you’re still very much alert and aware of your thought and your mind. That’s an authentic voice.”
So that gut reaction, that’s the most you. You don’t have a chance to filter whatever people might think, or take too much outside influence, but you’re still very much alert and aware of your thought and your mind. That’s an authentic voice
It’s a philosophy that applies to advice she has for the next promising musicians. Stand by your work. Be proud of your work. Your work is a reflection of you. “If you stand by it and feel proud of it, that’s going to speak to people who listen because it’s relatable and it’s human,” she says. “People just want to feel like you understand them and they understand you.”
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