Review: HANA EP

HANA

March has been a big month for singer, songwriter and producer Hana Pestle – better known as HANA. Not only has she been on the road supporting Grimes with her ‘Acid Reign’ tour, but she has also recently released a self-titled 5-track EP, showcasing her style of dreamy synthpop that owes a lot to artists such as Grimes and Lorde; the latter of which has been open with her praise of HANA’s work.

And praise is not without justification. Opening track, ‘Clay’, sets the tone for what is to follow – it’s fairly slow-tempo, with a chilled out, dreamy sound to the lyrics in the verses – before HANA’s vocals become more lively during the chorus.

The overall production of the album is somewhat minimalistic; the beats are simple, but punchy when they need to be, and the EP is punctuated with some blissful synths. HANA’s vocals are a highlight – she definitely has quite a range, capable of being both soft and powerful, with an evident passion. ‘Underwater’ is great example of this quiet-loud dynamic.

In short, if HANA set out to create a collection of smooth, electronic-influenced chill-out songs, then she has definitely succeeded in that regard; the only question now is if she will be able to continue to develop and diversify her sound. One main criticism of this EP is that if the style of the opening track doesn’t do it for you, then it’s likely the rest of the EP will do no better – all the songs are in a similar vein. It just remains to be seen whether HANA can follow up this interesting EP with either a full-length album or further EPs. There is definitely a lot of potential here; here’s to hoping she can and to make good music without merely repeating herself.

Matt Carey

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