It seems like every other day there’s a new artist on the rise.
Over the last few years there’s a particular artist who seems to have engulfed my entire soul with their lyrics and sound.
Hana Vu, is an LA based, singer-songwriter, and all around badass!
She recently released her debut EP ” How Many Times Have You Driven By” and its nothing short of spectacular. You can hear it in her music that she pours herself entirely into her work. I don’t speak for everyone but I feel like she went through all of my texts/screenshots and was inspired to write a lot of her songs. There’s something about her scratchy vocals and deep guitars really get me in my feelings. Teaching yourself to sing and play guitar is one thing, but producing your own stuff too is just mind blowing! Did I mention the she’s only 18?! At that age I was still asking my parents for permission to go to the movies with my friends! She’s young but she’s totally got a vision of who she is and where she is about. Not many teenagers nor adults can say they’ve got it figured out.
As I mentioned earlier she’s been around for a few years now and what really hooked me as a fan was her previous album, “Sensitive”. Vu’s album “Sensitive” is basically a scruffy pop/rock coming of age soundtrack for teens and adults alike. From “Queen Of High School” feat. Willow Smith to “Farsides” she talks about growing up and inevitably, growing apart. One of my favorite lyrics from the aforementioned song “Farsides” talks about still wanting someone even though it’s over (ouch!) :
I really wanna end up with you
but were hiding in corners of rooms
Oh friend, it was good until the end
I know you think so too.
Vu ‘s music is mostly described as “bedroom pop” but her sound is so open and relatable I wouldn’t limit it to just that. She’s young but her maturity trancends through her music. You can really see how much she’s come into herself with her old music to now. “Sensitive” was removed from Spotify and other streaming services and I was devastated but luckily you can still check it out on Bandcamp!
Fast forward to her new EP “How Many Times Have You Driven By” and it is no less captivating. Once you get this album going it’s going to be hard to stop. You can hear what I’m talking about on “426” and “Crying on the Subway” where her lyrics provoke feelings of longing in an almost painful way. Her debut track “Crying on the Subway” talks about taking a train to literally and physically distance herself from the heartbreak that has befallen her. We’ve all been there right? The feeling of wanting to get as far away as possible from the thing/people that’s causing us pain. It may sound a bit depressing but the lyrics are deeply introspective and if you throw in the groovy bass combined with Hana’s gruff vocals you’ve got yourself a banger.
Hana once said in an interview;
“Subway” is my favorite song on there, production-wise, and lyrically it’s a stretch for me. I think that song’s a reach for me, composition-wise, I often try to get back into that zone, but I don’t know, it just feels like I didn’t make it. Which is probably why I like it. But there’s this song on one of the four extra tracks, ‘Team’, and I think that’s a real mood song…
“Subway’ is the bop, but ‘Team” is the mood”.
SIDE NOTE : “TEAM” IS MY ABSOLUTE FAV!
Even the title of the album rocked the boat for me.
“How Many Times Have You Driven By”
LIKE CAN YOU BE ANY MORE ROMANTIC?! *crying emoji*
I suppose it isn’t necessarily romantic and is more open to interpretation but my overly sensitive self tries to find romance or the feeling of mystery, and remoteness from everyday life in basically everything. My interpretation of the title? A romantic interest or a crush that seems to just you pass by instead of being direct and telling you how they feel and vice versa. To me it means not taking the leap, it means not doing something that you shouldn’t be afraid to do. Love is too precious a thing to not have in your life because you’re afraid or worried about everyone else. Being a coward gets you hurt and unfortunately I’ve learned this from my past experiences. The words we don’t say end up staying inside of us, trapped, and make us feel heavier. Those words left unsaid give us heavy souls and not to mention heavy hearts. Why add something else to your plate? Life is tough enough as it is and you shouldn’t have to lug around regrets or what ifs!
The reality behind the album title? It’s just a very poetic and terribly romantic marquee sign hanging in a cafe in LA that Hana used to frequent. For a sucker like myself I sob at the mere thought of the name but these cafe owners really know how to get ya! They’re using this sign to entice their customers with curiosity saying “Come in, eat our food, spend your hard earned cash…what’re you waiting for?” and I’m taking it as a sign to drunk text at 3 am.
“HMTHYDB” presents the idea of inevitable heartbreak and change, self love and basically everything that comes with growing up but does so in a way that softens the blow of our sometimes cruel reality. Music for me has always been therapeutic. It’s a huge passion of mine and when I come across an artist that really resonates with me and how I’m feeling I will use their music as a way to comfort myself. In the good and the bad there is a song to express every emotion or life situation! With Hana’s music I felt so connected to her lyrics because there was a point in time where I couldn’t translate my thoughts or emotions in structed sentences. I was unsure of myself and her music helped me realize it was okay to be “sensitive” and that I wasn’t alone. I’ve actually had the privilege to see Hana a few times and each time she’s blown me away. I even got to take a picture with her when she played at The Echo in LA back in April of last year. (I cried during the set lol)
^ Hana and I pictured on the left at her LA show. Mind you this was after a couple Jameson-Gingers and a lot of tears.
“Lost, I’ll carry you home”
I just feel like people have a inherent, I dunno, attraction to, fixing people. So I think, like, in that moment I was very inclined to, like, saving someone, helping someone, and that’s a complex for some people. Yeah, I think that’s what that is. I always feel like I need to be in control of…like, my feelings. So being in control of other people’s feelings is also something I think about.
Her music is so personal and it’s her vulnerability, the ability to be fully exposed and sensitive and show us the real her that really draws you in. It’s human nature to not want to be alone, to want to be loved and have a sense of belonging. Some find belonging in a church, some with friends, some with family, and others on Instagram or other social media. Then there are those who find it in music and want to create and share it with the rest of those. Hana is one of those people, a true artist. I hope you’ll take some time to listen to her journey through her music. Who knows? You might just find yourself connecting with someone new.
Check out Hana Vu’s “How Many Times Have You Driven By” on all streaming platforms.
For some of her older music check out Hana Vu’s Bandcamp !