Daily Discovery: Hannah Connolly Deals With Grief in “Meet You There”

Hannah Connolly is a breath of fresh air for the Folk/Country scene showing off her graceful vocals and uplifting music, acting as a resurgence for classic country twang and great storytelling.  Today she premieres her newest single “Meet You There,” from her debut album out January 31.  

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“Meet You There” elicits a serenity and comfort, while seamlessly blending the contrasts of tranquil music and the sad story behind the making of the song. 

“After losing my youngest brother to a drunk driver, I struggled with processing grief.  It took a long time to be able to see beauty in the world again and the place I ended up finding it was in nature,” said Connolly.  “I feel my brother’s presence more clearly when I am watching a sunrise or standing under stars. This song was written to try to capture that feeling.  It was co-written with my friend and the album’s producer Jordan Ruiz.”

Connolly explains how the process of songwriting has helped her cope with her loss and how nature has presented another perspective for her to look positively on. 

“Although most of the record came from the heaviest parts of grief, this song helped me to reflect on the magic and mystery of moments when I know my brother is still with me,” she said.

Matching the peacefulness of the song, it is fitting that Connolly chose to record “Meet You There” in a church.  In an empty sanctuary in the heart of Southern California, Connolly and her band set up camp for the recording process.  A makeshift studio was setup in the children’s cry room of the church and the guitars, piano, most of the percussion and bagpipes were laid down in the main worship area of the church.  

“Being in the church was very peaceful. A lot of nights we were there during sunset and light would come pouring in through the stained-glass windows,” said Connolly.  “It felt very safe there, almost like a place to rest. It was the perfect setting to begin the chapter of recording.”

In a makeshift studio environment, Connolly admits she learned a few new tricks, growing her skills as a musician.  Connolly’s recording budget was not significant and she lacked full-time company of her engineer Jordan Ruiz to assist in production.  

Connolly’s recording budget was not significant and in the absence of an engineer for early sessions, producer Jordan Ruiz taught her to assist in production, sharing the foundation of tracking and how to run a session through a tape machine.  

Connolly said she was grateful for this mishap because at the end of the day she learned more skills to better her and her music, while also sparking an interest in production. Additionally, the record was polished with vocals and secondary instrumentation at Music Box Studios in Fullerton, California. 

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