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WATCH: Hannah Wicklund Unveils Enchanting New Video - "WITNESS"

Hannah Wicklund posing for artwork
Photo by Jamie Goodsell

Growing up on the beaches of Hilton Head, South Carolina, Hannah Wicklund has always had music in her bones. At just three years old, she started taking piano lessons at her teacher Miss Ruth’s house. Surrounded by bright purple walls and bunnies they would feed in the backyard, music has been a fully immersive experience from the start. Playing rock n roll by the beach throughout her childhood, Hannah had abundant opportunities to cut her teeth playing every show that came her way, playing on her signature Anderson and Orange guitar/amp combo that she’s continued to use for 17 years straight. Through endless hard work and resounding determination, she continued to build her career on her own. She’s gone on to achieve multiple levels of greatness leading to this moment. She’s played Firefly Music Festival, Shaky Knees Music Festival, Bourbon & Beyond as well as Summerfest Kaboo Del Mar. In 2022, she toured as direct support for Marcus King on 45 dates of his North American tour and opened for Greta Van Fleet on the Canadian leg of their Dreams In Gold tour.

Hannah released her most personal song yet, “Witness,” on Wednesday, July 26 — marking the sophomore single from her forthcoming album, The Prize (due October 13). The song is about claiming heartbreak, embracing it and using that to heal through some of the toughest times in life and Wicklund released the enchanting, forest-fairy inspired music video to accompany the powerful song which exhibits her signature, unique use of the talkbox but puts her piano playing on display for the first time. Although Wicklund’s guitar skills have led the focus of her career thus far, piano was her first instrument and with this song she honors and explores that side of her youth.

The music video, directed by Casey Pierce, showcases Hannah in her signature whimsical style playing the piano — one of the many instruments she’s gifted at — on the grounds of a castle similar to the one she has in her painting for The Prize album artwork. While baring her soul in her performance of “Witness,” Hannah navigates between playing the piano and entrancing the viewer, channeling her inner forest fairy. At one point paint is smeared on her face by allusive hands, serving as a metaphor for the mark one can leave on your mind, body and soul. The paint also being the perfect medium to depict the intersection between her music and her art, both being an integral part of her. The video carries out the fairytale-esque imagery Hannah has meticulously crafted between her artwork and music surrounding this album amalgamate beautifully in the video. Her forest fairy inspired awakening is enhanced by the perfect backdrop, filmed at Castle Recording Studios in Nashville, a true mythical castle tucked into the rolling hills of Tennessee built by Al Capone’s attorney that once served as home to many illegal mobster poker games.

Perhaps one of the most satisfying songs she’s ever written, the track is a song she says truly helped heal her. “Getting into your first relationship as a strong, driven young woman, it’s very difficult to experience someone dim your light, but even harder to recognize it,” Hannah confesses. “Insecurities within young people play out in terrifying ways, and it’s very hard to not absorb other people’s darkness. Witness was the awareness I found in myself that it is not my responsibility to save anyone.” The single arrives accompanied by another of Hannah’s whimsical oil paintings as the single cover art,expanding the world and story she began to tell through the art behind the first single, “Hide and Seek.”

The Prize — produced by Sam Kiszka of Greta Van Fleet— finds Wicklund coming into her own following the debut LP she released in 2018. This project showcases personal development translated through intentional musicianship all pointing to the thesis of the record: passing the baton from girlhood to womanhood. “I hope this record lyrically, musically, and artistically paints a picture of what raw feminine power and determination look, feel and sound like,” Hannah says. The empowering album features Kiszka on bass, keys and organ, while fellow Greta Van Fleet member, Daniel Wagner, holds it down on drums. The 10 songs on The Prize serve as a rock ‘n roll roadmap to a crossroads that Wicklund has been unknowingly gravitating towards for over a decade.

Hannah Wicklund posing in music video
Photo by Casey Pierce

“Working with Hannah was an incredible experience that glowed with inspiration all the way through the process,” Kiszka shares about working on The Prize. “With the help of Daniel on drums, we were able to craft a fully realized album that tells Hannah’s story in the exciting vernacular tradition of rock n’ roll. I’m proud of this album, The Prize, for Hannah, as an incredibly gifted musical artist, and I’m delighted I was able to help capture that lightning in a bottle.”

X marks the spot where the weary girl, speeding towards the woman she will become, meets in a fiery head-on collision. On this album, we hear from the woman rising from that wreckage. The woman who’s scarred but smarter, holds compassion for the girl who carried her here, and with wide-open eyes, unflinchingly stares down the future.


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