Photo: Megan Winstone

Hannah Grae – Nothing Lasts Forever

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Since captivating an online audience with her clever rewrites and covers on YouTube, Hannah Grae has shown the world that she has no problem wearing her heart on her sleeve. From the crunching riffs, roaring vocals, and storytelling lyrics of her own music, Grae’s confessional, pop-punk sound quickly catapulted her to viral success, and since then, the singer-songwriter has graced festival stages at the likes of Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds, 2000trees, and many more. Her last EP, Hell Is A Teenage Girl, laid the foundations of her breakthrough, and with each release, the Port-Talbot-born, London-living singer is righteously climbing the industry’s ranks, cementing herself as a new exciting voice for a new generation. Following on from 2023’s Hell Is A Teenage Girl, the new, ultra-personal mini-album showcases the self-taught musician at her best as she holds nothing back and draws inspiration from the likes of Courtney Love, Green Day, and Phoebe Bridgers.

More ambitious than its predecessor, Nothing Lasts Forever starts elegantly with “The Overture.” The short but sweet instrumental sets the tone for what lies ahead and leads perfectly into “Typical (The Buttercup Song),” a track that describes the feeling of breaking free and being your most authentic self. The thumping track, which continues the message that Hell Is A Teenage Girl started, finds Grae capturing the ricochet of self-criticism, neurotic uncertainty, romantic obsession, and the pressures of life as she proclaims “got through it all to get to here / You’re never going to make it / It’s feeling like a fever dream / You might as well embrace it.

As Grae continues to pour her heart out, opening up more than ever before before, Nothing Lasts Forever also finds her becoming confident in being her most authentic self and rising above the self-doubt in her mind. Giving listeners a glimpse of that newfound mindset, “Need Me Now” discusses the many reasons given as to why someone needs you. The honest track leaves no question unturned yet Grae finds a way to answer them all, making the audience feel it’s okay to trust again and to let someone admire them, as she sings about trusting too much, being quiet when she shouldn’t, running back to someone, and letting go. “You could cut me open, you could run me dry,” she cries at the start of the pre-chorus. “You could leave me broken, and I’d still have to try.

In merging the nostalgic elements of those before her with those that the current generation are loving, Grae’s musical inspirations also showcase her knack for knowing how to craft a tune for the masses. The fiery, propulsive breakup anthem “Better Now You’re Gone,” cut from the veins of Avril Lavigne and Olivia Rodrigo, takes listeners on a journey of trying to convince them that they’re better off without somebody whereas the vulnerable “When I Had Hope, I Had It All” is all about dreaming and finds Grae channeling Paramore’s Hayley Williams as she showcases a similar level of incredible vocal ability. “I hate to say / I hate the way I feel,” she croons at the beginning of the latter. “Where I am now / Is where I aim to be,” she continues. “The bunting is down / The last champagne is empty / I’m stood at the top of the tallest hill I’ve ever seen / Isn’t anybody trying to find me?

Bringing the album to a close, “When I Had Hope, I Had It All” touches on dreaming big and that’s something Hannah Grae should be doing. The nine-track collection, co-written with producer Rob Brinkmann, finds the singer-songwriter becoming more confident in her craft, and with a mini record like this, there’s no denying that there are only great things ahead for her. If anything, the one thing we know for sure is that 2024 is the year everybody will be seeing and hearing a lot more of Hannah Grae. The world is her oyster and she’s only just getting started.