Tag Archives: such small hands

Such Small Hands : Carousel, LP released 18 September 2020

‘Carousel’ is a new release from Such Small Hands, the performing name of Brighton singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Melanie Howard. A blend of treated acoustic instruments, voice and electronics create a haunting, drifting sound.

‘Lonely Is The Rain’ is an evocative and sombre title for the opener – a measured and mellow five minute meditation, with an echoing guitar and keyboard counterpointing with Melanie’s ethereal voice. The electronic percussion picks up the pace near the end but the listener is overwhelmed by the delicate beauty of the track.

‘Do I Belong Here?’ is built around an acoustic guitar triplet figure and smoky layers of vocals weaving into a heady mix. ‘Drifter’ is a lo-fi delight then ‘Still Dreaming’ is probably my favourite on the LP. The introduction could be the theme to a cult sixties movie thriller then it transforms into a sensuous interweaving of vocals and descending chord progression. With spectral keyboard tones continually adding flavour, by the end it is epic and almost orchestral in its ambition.

The title track ‘Carousel’ is built around a repeating note and a louder electric ambience alternated with quieter thoughtful sections. The pensive and beautiful ‘Anhedonia’ closes the album (along with two bonus acoustic reworkings of older songs).

Reflecting the experience of ten years of writing and reshaping of the music, this excellent LP rewards in-depth listening and immersion in the tracks as they range from atmospheric vignettes to darker pieces that occupy the hinterland between nightmare and daydream.



Such Small Hands : The Deep, released October 2016

Such Small Hands is the performing name of Brighton musician Melanie Howard.
This is a double release of single and EP titled ‘In Your Most Fragile Gestures Are Things Which Enclose Me’, a reference from the poet e.e.cummings, as is ‘such small hands’ from the same poem. This is a minimalist gem, slipping through the net on release but finally reaching my review site.

Opening with ‘The Deep’, a subtle concoction of delicate voice and sparse keyboard backing, the sounds processed to make them appear as they have indeed travelled through many fathoms of water. Gentle percussive patterns introduce ‘Legs’, even sparser musically but with a more natural sound to the vocal. ‘Ghost’ has as near as we get to a catchy chorus line, then ‘Hello’ sounds ethereal and a bit sinister. ‘Psycho’ is an intriguing mix of elements from what has come before with some busy percussion and the most up-front vocal so far. ‘Rachel’ is plaintive and melodic with simple guitar lines and ‘Ominous’ has a similar style.

It is all relaxing, mysterious and irresistible….