Written by Sophie Kemp from NPR
In a new video for Hannah Gill & The Hours’ “Austin,” the 18-year-old singer walks around the city’s streets followed by a brass band. She’s fuming; she’d thought one thing about the way love was supposed to turn out for her, but instead she’s wound up with betrayal and heartbreak. “Austin” isn’t just the name of the city, but also the name of a lover who’s wronged her. She takes to the streets and broods alone in a bar shouting his name: “Austin / You were my first lover / Why’d you say you love me if I meant nothing to you.” The video pays impeccable homage to the ’50s, from the outfits Gill wears to the décor inside the bar in which part of it is set.
Gill is a belter, and when she sings, she sings. In “Austin,” her voice is booming and scathing. Along with co-songwriter and guitarist Brad Hammonds, Gill gives the song the kind of vibe that lets you imagine it playing out in the background of an action movie. But in an email to NPR Music, Gill writes that the song was, surprisingly enough, originally inspired by a wedding: “Austin was written the day of a wedding we played where the groom was named Austin. Brad [Hammonds] and I wanted to tie in the city Austin with the groom’s name and went for it. We wrote it in like 20 minutes and then played their wedding that night.”
Hannah Gill & The Hours’ “Austin” comes from the band’s self-released debut EP, The Water.