Review: Abee Hague – Novus

Abee Hague hails from Falmouth in Cornwall, an English town more famous for its harbour than its burgeoning songwriting talent. Still in her teens, Hague’s debut EP not only showcases some wonderfully mature vocals but also plenty of production savvy.

Abee Hague EP Cover

Hague has a fine soulful range which she demonstrates fully in first song ‘Bringing It Back To You’. She is due to visit India “to learn about music and life” and the song’s inclusion of native Eastern instruments is the first indication that we are witnessing a young artist prepared to experiment with arrangements, when the easy route would be to be stick to a rigid R&B formula. ‘The Way It Is’ revolves around languid, chilled rhythms and some neat sax playing; its nocturnal vibe and Hague’s own vocal ululations making it a definite highlight. She reaches further into her reserves for ‘WOAH’. Even though the premise of a song whose chorus consists entirely of the word “WOAH” doesn’t set the heart racing, it’s the most soulful and mature number here.

Another tasteful track follows in the shape of ‘Valentine’ and although Hague sings with the required heartache, it’s the least interesting song in terms of arrangement. In contrast, the aquatic effects on ‘Now Breathe’ successfully convey the feeling of being trapped underwater and the singer’s strident vocal emerges unscathed, despite the unnecessary inclusion of a showy guitar solo. Finally, (although not officially included on the EP but provided in the download I received) ‘Never Make Him Happy’ is a contribution from London-based producer Après with Hague lending her vocals to the club-friendly mix. The combination is quite sublime with Hague providing some deliciously smooth tones to accompany the warm arrangement; making it an after hours delight.

Although Hague’s style could be loosely described as soul and R&B infused with electronica, there’s actually a lot of bases covered here and she eases impressively and seamlessly into other genres on these subtly-textured songs. Her travels to Asia may provide the enlightenment she desires but it’s her musical journey from here which will prove most intriguing.

Web Sites:
Abee Hague Official Site
SoundCloud Stream for Abee Hague – Novus EP

Further Listening:
Kaela Sinclair, ROSïE & The Bees, Ellie Goulding


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