Hana Vu is a 17 year old. Let’s get that small fact out of the way right away. We do so because her unwavering need to create affecting and arresting music, far belies her age. She’s a self-taught singer, songwriter, musician, producer, with a collab with Willow Smith to her name, and she’s releasing one of the best EPs of the summer.
The new EP How Many Times Have You Driven By (out on Friday 29th June) is a simple but effective look not only in to the work and mind of Miss Vu but also a deeply personal peek in to the soul of society’s forgotten generation. Across tracks like ‘Cool’, ‘Shallow’ and ‘Crying On The Subway’ she offers a varying and veracious view which would point to an older head, but instead we find idealism fighting against syncisim.
Truth is, Hana manages to gain and give this view because she has in fact been working on her musical and artistic output for over 5 years. Having shied away from the big DIY scene she said “I wouldn’t call myself a curmudgeon, but I found it hard to be friends with other young people. Instead, I found two or three key homies, then just did my own thing— socially and in my music”. Having written and produced tracks from her bedroom, she’s developed a talent for seeing and seizing the particular zeitgeist of a genre.
Whether it is the slow funk of ‘Crying on the Subway’, the dreamscape she paints on ‘426’ or the more playful indie-r’n’b of ‘Cool’, Vu determines and delivers across a wide variety of perceived genres. Although lyrics are sometimes a little obscure they’re always carried true by the backing of a very wise teenager with a lot of talent.
However, when she does push lyrics to the front, such as on ‘Shallow’ she manages to convey a sense of isolation and the mundane almost effortlessly “Don’t forget me, don’t forget my name/Every day are days and days the same,”
The true majesty of Vu’s EP is not in the delivery, a slinky but seemingly self-aware production permeated with a nonchalant vocal, nor is it the eclectic cultural touch points, which meander through r’n’b, new wave grooves and bedroom-pop.
No, Hana Vu’s upcoming coronation as the Queen of bedroom-pop is duly expected because she, a 17 year old from LA, has enough authentic charm, charisma and most importantly, talent, to make music which moves your feet, sways your hips and touches your soul – regardless of age or location.