There is nothing about Nun Habit’s debut album hedge fun that would suggest it was recorded in a single hasty weekend between lockdowns. The band describe it as “a rejection of the corporate and mundane and a celebration of everything there is to love about queer DIY music”. They have absolutely lived up to that description in every beat of this record.
The album opens with the smooth, relaxed ‘Slip N Slide’. Deep, gentle notes ease you into the track, with burbling synths and warm vocals dancing around a rich bass line. This sets the scene for the rest of the album, which is constructed expertly out of the band’s signature synth and string combo playing over that rumbling bass. ‘Slip N Slide’ builds into a powerful climax, launching effortlessly into the high energy of ‘Marigolds’.
hedge fun fluctuates in terms of pace and energy. The tracks fit together comfortably, creating a vibe that ebbs and flows with a natural rhythm. Some tracks slow right down so that they feel more like beat poetry, with a gentle pace and cool beats. Others match the fast pace and high energy of ‘Marigolds’, with that raw screaming sound that sweeps you up into a chaotically wonderful whirlwind of synths and drums.
The real magic of this album is how much emotion is packed into every note sang – every vocal note is heavy with expression, whether it’s one of the more nonchalant tracks or the roaring impactful ones.
‘TinderHingeHer’ in particular takes you on an emotional rollercoaster just through its energy. It begins cool and laid-back, as you swipe aimlessly through dating app profiles, at first casual. But it soon ramps up into a raw, emotional cry as you go through the motions getting increasingly desperate to find someone to connect with.
Lyrically, the album touches on so many aspects of contemporary life and the feelings they inspire, both the happy and difficult. hedge fun captures that rare place where emotions intersect – where they clash and where they reach a fleeting sense of harmony, before you’re plunged back into the overwhelming cacophony of reality.
Finally, the collection ends on one of the more relaxed-sounding tracks – the poignant, short-but-sweet ‘One More’ – reflecting on the ups and downs of relationships with the band’s trademark honesty and wit.
hedge fun showcases all there is to love about Nun Habit and their knack for fusing together an eclectic mix of both musical genres and lyrical subject matter in the most uplifting of ways. A cheering sonic exploration that demands multiple listens, and will leave you looking forward with uncertainty but optimism for what this band are going to do next.
Listen to, and buy, hedge fun on bandcamp here.