Hana Vu – “One”

I’m slow to refer to Hana Vu’s newest EP as “bedroom pop,” mainly because you wouldn’t believe me if I did. Everything from her gorgeous, truly unique voice to her impeccable instrumental work sounds far too full, far too expansive and otherworldly, far too large and encompassing. The seventeen year old Los Angeles based artist produced the entirety of How Many Times Have You Driven By? herself, this helping to further emphasize the project’s theme of solitude both within and without the idea of loneliness, instead often equating isolation to the realizing, blossoming, and execution of ideas. And, speaking of execution, the production is, frankly, close to perfection; somehow it sounds loud and intimate at the same time, pounding and pulsating yet full of emotional, vulnerable narratives. While all are gorgeous in their own right, no track on the EP seems to convey this more brilliantly than “One,” a guitar-heavy, upbeat stunner where Vu’s voice soars over all else. Bluesy, dreamy, and funky all at once, you’re distracted from the poetic self-deprecation, the way she laments “nobody ever calls me” beneath the fiery rage of percussion at the peak of the chorus. Yet it’s the jagged, euphoric guitar riff that follows that adds that needed touch of irresistibility, almost like a reset into the next scene of the track, a subtle streak of brightness to cut through the layers of haze. It, along with the album itself, is a work of art that deserves your full, undivided attention due to its genuine, exhilarating intensity; trust me, you’ll be glad you succumbed to your own internal psyche – the level of encouraged immersion is what makes Hana Vu’s music that much more incredible to experience. 

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photo courtesy of artist
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Battery Point – “Wonder”

Back in late June, California based quartet Battery Point released Star, the follow up EP to last year’s self-titled debut. Despite the album’s brevity, the three tracks it houses hold enough power, desire, and anguish to fill the space, evoking everything from the shoegaze, indie emo, and alternative rock. “Wish” and “Clear” both brood and glare on the surface due to its instrumentals, but also house a soft vulnerability, both from the intertwining of Jessica Severns’s bright, piercing vocals and Sergio Esparza’s deep, brooding tone. We can’t help but hear Smiths undertones in closer “Wonder,” perhaps due to the wonderful juxtaposition of Severns’s flinty voice and the fast, unrelenting drums and steady, expertly balanced guitars. Hopefully this will lead to something bigger from the quartet in the future – they clearly have much more to offer the world of indie rock.

 

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photo courtesy of artist

The Darcys – “Hunting”

the-darcys-warringThe Darcys are a four piece indie art rock group from Toronto. Their music takes influence from many different genres, including the complex guitar melodies, aggressive bass notes, and intense drumming from alternative music, and of course, the use of outstanding falsetto vocals found in all evocative music, which I can’t get enough of. They have released four studio albums thus far, the most recent one being quite impressive. The band says that [the new album] is about “moving forward. It’s learning in motion. Competition and survival, letting go to persevere. It is anxiety about the future and the triumph of life in the moment. It’s victory on will alone, the force that eradicates failure as an option (from arts-crafts.ca)” In this track titled “Hunting,” front man and vocalist Jason Couse holds nothing back, and the song is so powerful as a result of that. It seems like such a release of anger and pain, and the beautifully constructed music video makes it so much better. “Hunting” is from The Darcys’ fourth album Warring, which was released late last year. They have also since then released an instrumental EP Hymn for a Missing Girl, which is also a must listen. Check them out!

 

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