August saw the creation of Hannah Westerholm’s Half Wolf, a project that brought her debut single “Pretty Lonely” into the world and sparked quite a buzz for the Dakota-based artist. Her new single “Cigarette Smoke” tells a heavy story, but has been on our mind all week.
“It all came from personal experience of an abusive partner rolling the car windows up while smoking his cigarettes.” states Westerholm “Not only a literal account, but metaphorical. This is a story using cigarette addiction as a metaphor for the waves of confusion and power struggle that comes with loving your abuser. My hope is that survivors can find comfort and empowerment in hearing a multidimensional point of view on an abusive relationship.”
Heartfelt, emotive lyricism shines through pained vocals against an acoustic riff that’s simple but effective enough to bring a mid-tempo beat that sinks into the mind. Hannah’s voice floats between flawless falsetto and soaring highs, singing words that paint a perfect example of her experience for us listeners. The result is a listen that’s crushing but very powerful all the same. We’ve all felt similar emotions, whether or not at the same level as Hannah, which helps “Cigarette Smoke” become one of the most effective and relatable songs we’ve heard in a while.