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2023 NSMZ Album of the Year: Son of Han

Updated: Jan 4

By Melanie Macpherson

From eye-catching album artwork to songwriting skill to sheer aural pleasure, Son of Han checks all the boxes.

Leot Hanson, along with a bevy of co-conspirators, has created an album that is entertaining and enjoyable from beginning to end. Within a wide range of styles, themes and even vocalists, what remains constant is the consistently recognizable fuzz-tastic groove of Hanson on guitar and the funky-sexy bassline care of co-producer Aspen Beveridge. The album dips its toe into the influence pools of clean classic rock, swirling psychedelia, gritty grunge, and sugary sweet pop. The sound is catchy and distinctive and fresh and it just feels good. It's an album you can listen to on repeat; quietly in the background or cranked to 11.

"Your shoes are on point, but what about your soul?

The money is good, until it takes ahold.

You've got a nice bow, but who holds the arrows?

Not you, its not you

No matter what you do, it'll never be you."

Arrows


The album is such a great listen, it took me quite a few spins to really start to dig into the lyrics. From insightful commentary about the cost of success to complicated relationship dynamics to a window into a disturbed mind, the songs are more than just a pretty face, they have depth. The themes are explored in a clear and accessible manner, yet the album avoids the mistake of over-explaining itself. Hanson leaves enough to the imagination that songs can be interpreted differently by every person who hears them, ultimately creating songs that can connect with a much wider audience. Lyrics are at times bold and catchy and at others poetic with just enough f-bombs thrown in to make it fun.


"There's a girl with a west coast soul,

She can't remember how to laugh no more

Just when you think you've lost it all

Turn around and break right through the wall

We all get real close to something we're gonna lose

It's all give and take, sometimes we gotta choose"

You've Gotta Choose


Finally, the album itself is gorgeous. The artwork on the cover was done by Kit Langfield, a local tattoo artist and musician who also performs on the album. The photography on the back side is by Harrison Hall. As a whole this is an album that is worth a place in your collection, so why not splurge and pick up the vinyl, or at the very least give it a listen on your favourite streaming service. You won't regret it.




Son of Han record Produced by Aspen Beveridge & Leot Hanson

Son of Han guest musicians include:

Micah Braun (of the band Wonder) -sings on Arrows, Dem Boyz, Gonna Lose

Kory Istace (of the band Kory Istace VS the TIme Pirates) - sings on Slave & Rage, The Strangler

Aspen Beveridge (of League of Wolves / Haunt Era) -bass and sings on "All Your Love", "Youve Gotta Choose"

Billy Tataryn (of Castle River, Parkland) - sings on Buy Me Time

Brad Heck (Drummer of Pistol Whips / il Creatura) -Drums

Kit Langfield (Of Cadillac / Kit Langfield) Sings on "Dreme"

Tim D'eon (of Wintersleep) Guitars on "All Your Love"

Grieg Beveridge (Drummer of League of Wolves ) - Drums

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