The press release for Hannah Diamond’s debut album hammers home the fact that the 28-year-old from Norwich is a real person. As the early figurehead for gonzo collective PC Music’s synthetic, hyper-real take on pop music, Diamond was caught in a wider conversation surrounding notions of authenticity, with her early singles dismissed as two-dimensional or, worse, the work of male geniuses using her as an avatar. Reflections, a gloriously overwrought breakup album, proves there’s a beating heart beneath Diamond’s self-aware, Photoshopped exterior.
Over 10 off-kilter songs, Diamond, whose deadpan, heavily tweaked vocals lend every word a sort of icy detachment, details the stages of a relationship ending, from catching a new flirtation on OTT hyper-ballad Invisible (“do you wish I wasn’t even there sometimes?”), to unpicking the moment of full implosion on the tactile Never Again.
Led mainly by producer AG Cook, Reflections immaculately houses Diamond’s heartache in techno-adjacent bops (Fade Away; the fractured Concrete Angel) or twinkly, snowflake-soft beats, as on the gloopy title track. It’s an album that draws you into Diamond’s world, full of real, 3D emotions.