DUBAI: Jordanian singer-songwriter Hana Malhas releases her new single, “Code,” on Friday, June 8, and Arab News has an exclusive preview of the track below.
Malhas is a prominent figure in the region’s alternative music scene, not just for her own work, but also as the host and founder of the online Amman-based concert series Bala Feesh, which has given a platform to a number of the region’s best underground artists over the years.
“Code,” the second release from Malhas’s debut solo LP “Nasi,” set for release on Universal Music MENA on August 3, is something of a departure from Malhas’ previous work, introducing a contemporary electronic vibe to her more common acoustic, folk-y sound. That “very pop, very summer,” feel she told Arab News, is partly due to the input of her producer, and co-composer, Khaled Nimry.
“We worked together for a long time and you can definitely see his influence in the electronic elements in the songs. He sort of expanded a lot of my writing experiments,” Malhas said.
While the track is clearly a pop song, Malhas’ lyrics give it a depth that the genre doesn’t always display. “On one level it’s a very light, summer pop song, but it’s also about coded communication with people who get you caught in loops and patterns,” she explained. “And how time can pass without you knowing that you’re repeating loops and patterns. Basically, it’s saying, ‘Let’s change course.’”
Malhas has already released the album’s title track — her first Arabic language release — a “nostalgic,” slower-paced number which shared a lyrical theme with “Code” and, she said, the rest of the album: “Each song takes an element of our interaction with time.”
And she believes that dropping “Code” as the next single gives her audience a good idea of what to expect from the album in the fall.
“The idea behind releasing “Nasi” then “Code” is to tell the listener that the album is going to be a mix between the two worlds,” she said. “It kind of represents my journey, musically, from acoustic to somewhere more in-between acoustic and electronic.”
Listen to an exclusive preview of Hana Malhas’ “Code” below: