April 13, 2016

EP: HANA - HANA

HANA slays on her new electropop EP.

As someone who spent most of her adolescence *hating* pop music, I've done a complete 180 in my mid-20s and now it's the only thing I listen to. With that said, I still think a good pop song is hard to come by and should be cherished. In an ideal universe, the perfect pop song is relatable, self-aware, unique, and above all else, catchy af. Los Angeles-based artist HANA, who made her debut with her shimmering single "Clay" last spring, delivers on all these notes and simultaneously bridges the gap between electro and pop on her new EP.

Over the course of just five songs, HANA breaks down the emotional arc of letting go of a relationship that is no longer working. From a first glance, "Clay" is an empathetic sad girl anthem for anyone who has been wronged before. The song ruminates on regret and wasted time but ultimately decides on self-preservation – "Now I'm going that way and you'll never find me / Five years older today molding clay." Much like the track's music video that depicts the artist gasping for air as she emerges from a milky bath, the album as a whole deconstructs the process and pain associated with moving on. If "Clay" is about sobering up from a toxic relationship, then "Avalanche" is the empowering moment you get over the hangover and feel strong again. It's about saying no, establishing boundaries, and quite literally evolving into a force that is as big and powerful as an avalanche itself.

HANA has been transparent that most of her work is inspired by a long-term relationship that ended badly a few years ago. When a relationship has run its course, it's normal to be shaken up and question your identity in a way that makes you encounter all levels of WHO AM I and WHAT IS LIFE, etc. But eventually and with time, you will find clarity from the situation. "White" is an otherworldly track that describes what its like to experience enlightenment after stepping out of an emotional tornado – "In the white I finally see / the light pouring all over me / I'm on my own." And then there's "Chimera," a fierce and beautiful song that is sharp and mysterious in all the right places. While Hana may start off as soft and malleable as clay at the beginning of this break-up album, "Chimera" is a fitting note to end on as she realizes her strength and truly embodies the fire-breathing lioness.

Watch the music video for HANA's "Clay" below:


Listen to HANA on soundcloud.

Written by Diana Cirullo