Time stands still for no-one. Talented young Brisbanite Hannah Winter (née Botting) has taken a step aside from the much-loved Owl & Mouse to present her solo project Common or Garden.
A step forward from her previous acoustic based & ukulele lead outfit, London located Common or Garden is self described as ‘scrappy’ synth pop - self produced and more experimental than her previous outfit. The core of her songwriting charm remains: vociferously personal stories, resonating harmonies and layers of vocals to lose yourself in.
Self imposed limitations drove the songwriting process, having previously struggled to complete songs since 2015’s Departures. Opening track Bought was written on the bus home after a confronting conversation with a friend. The sad, beautiful Opportunity was inspired by a quote from the Mars Opportunity Rover, as it broadcast it’s final long distance messages back to Earth [“my battery is low and it’s getting dark”]. Constellations deals with trying to help a friend who was struggling with their mental health and feeling like everything that was said made it worse.
The EP Trust Everyone is a reflection of a hopeful gesture, trusting that everyone is doing their best. Hannah elaborates further: “I think the things that link them all are that they’re about women I know who were struggling in one way or another, and me trying to figure out ways to communicate with them, to understand them, or be there for them. So I guess the theme is reaching out.”
Recorded predominantly on iPad at home and on public transport, Darren Hayman recorded Hannah’s vocals, and Hannah’s old band mate Emma Winston (Deerful) applied her know-how to the synth mixing.
Common or Garden have just started to perform live, supporting Mammoth Penguins and Darren Hanlon, with appearances alongside Darren Hayman and at Indietracks Festival forthcoming.
Hannah sings with older brother Bill Botting and The Two Drink Minimums (featuring members of Allo Darlin’, Tigercats, Nightflowers and more).
“Listening to Opportunity, this new sonic world if anything, feels a more natural fit for Hannah’s songwriting. The gentle, drifting propulsion of the drum machine, the burbling electronic pulses, the subtle meandering keyboard line, that for no real reason has us thinking of Cherry Blossom: it all feels like a perfectly unflashy backing for Hannah’s contemplative lyrics.” For The Rabbits
“the songs are hardly there at all, but they linger sweetly” Uncut
“a quite melancholic streak behind the sweetness of Botting’s often lovelorn lyrics” Folk Radio
“simple, understated odes to a heart-worn sadness have bite” The Arts Desk
Press for Common or Garden