Hana Malhas is a transplant. Her hometown is Amman, Jordan, where she currently resides, but she spent a while here in the mitten. And her recently released EP “Hana Malhas and the Overthinkers” is definitely infused with the particular listlessness and longing that homesickness can bring.

But just because she isn’t a native doesn’t mean she doesn’t have any friends stateside – oh no. The Overthinkers (Malhas’ backing group) fluctuates from one other person to a full band that performs with her live but are not so much in evidence on the EP. Another partner in crime that she’s met on this side of the pond is Michelle Chamuel of My Dear Disco and Ella Riot fame. Chamuel co- produced “Overthinkers” and lends her distinctive vocal touch to a few tracks on the album.

While she isn’t alone, the visual when listening to this album is a solitary Malhas beneath a spotlight on an otherwise darkened stage. In her words, Malhas related that she felt the album is “full of subtle drama. To me, it’s about your subconscious love, your inner superhero or your darkest quiet place.” Those kinds of themes are best related in hushed tones in dim places, and that is how the EP feels. Her voice remains largely unadorned, a mix of Carly Simon and Dido (remember her?! She wasn’t that bad…).

Malhas’ voice echoes as though through an empty ponderous space on the album. The percussive element on “Overthinkers” is often limited to hand claps (a favorite of Chamuel) and instrumentally mainly breathy pianos and tinkling xylophones hold sway. This bare audio quality makes those moments when a harmony or fuller instrumentation sweeps in that much more breathtaking.

With not much for her lyrics to hide behind, we can thank our lucky stars that such a capable songwriter as Malhas is steering the ship. Lyrics like “let’s settle for destruction, at the end of the day I’ll quietly resign” give you a glimpse into her dense, tangled psyche and clue you in to why her band is “the Overthinkers.”

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Jasmine Zweifler