March 9, 2017

LP: Hater - You Tried

Hater acts as our collective cool older sibling on their debut LP.

Sweden's Hater is set to release their debut LP tomorrow, and there should be no hesitation in picking up a copy. Members Caroline Landahl, Måns Leonartsson, Adam Agace, and Lukas Thomasson had been making music in various projects for years before finally coming together as a band. The foursome only put out their first EP under a year ago, but they've already toured with The Radio Dept on their first Scandinavian route in more than five years, and Hater went on to play the UK/EU with the storied band. Through singles “Mental Haven” and the most recent, “Had It All,” we’ve come to know these Swedes for their earnest songwriting and sweetly strum guitars, complete with an edge. These are the songs your cooler older sibling passed down to you when you were just trying to sort out the beginnings of your identity, taking what you like from those around you and getting rid of the rest. These songs are definitely the ones that have stayed.

Landahl’s vocals have a rough edge to them, a grittiness that makes the songs more fun to sing along to. There’s no overly polished or auto-tuned sheen on You Tried; it's full of honest, easy listening to pop songs. Album opener “Carpet” has Landahl telling you to “ease your mind...oh baby I can fix it” over vintage surf sounds, and it's easy to believe her. “Don’t tell me how to... use my time, you know that it is always all mine,” she sings on “Common Way.” Maybe Landahl is actually that aforementioned cool older sibling, giving us advice to follow in our own lives. With fuzzy guitars and swelling keys, the music surrounds and crashes over you and you put your complete trust in what she says. “Cry Later” has a guitar twang that evokes a retro, almost Blue Öyster Cult “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper” feel, with tambourine replacing cowbell. You’ll be nodding along, ready to follow Hater through their journey, no matter where they're going. “We didn’t care if this was the last one, we washed our clothes in the cold shower,” she tells us of her adventure, reminiscing about her recent past, and we eat it up. Switching up the gritty sweetness for low gulps and barks, Landahl’s forceful vocals make up the beat of “Heavy Hearts,” a fuzzy psych song begging for a kaleidoscope of lights to be projected on the closest white wall. The album ends with the title track, which slows the album back down from the frenzy of “Stay Gold,” Hater’s command to us all. “You Tried” has echo-y voice coming to us from far away, over soft guitars and gentle drums. It’s the perfect soundtrack for the near-miss of an impeccable relationship. The whole album has the feel of Hater looking back, reflecting on where they’ve been and, like our older siblings we love and admire, we can’t wait to see where they’re going.


Listen to Hater on bandcamp

Kat Harding is a music publicist living in Nashville, TN, with her loud kitty cat Goose. She often cries when excited at shows and can be found on twitter at @iwearaviators.