EP: Hanya – ‘I Used To Love You, Now I Don’t’

Demonic and dangerous, sorrowful and tormented; such are said to be the properties of the Japanese mask after which Hanya name themselves. It too, makes a pretty good description of this first EP from the Brighton two-piece.

The mix of sounds created by the pair – originally the solo project of Heather Sheret before being joined by drummer Jack Watkins – has grown over time and through the course of I Used To Love You, Now I Dont mixes together a range of 90s influences from shoegaze to Britpop, while remaining fresh.

Opening with the simple, if awkward, strum and percussive shimmer of Old/Newover four minutes the track builds through layers of reverb-laden vocal, and guitar riffs that begin as Britpop chimes and twist into shoegaze distortion.

Radiois a glowing ember of a track, drifting upwards into the endless dark, turning slowly and filling you with ominous gloom. Sherets vocals are a honey laced with vinegar as the soft drawl becomes sharp yowl. Of the track Sheret has explained: ‘Radio’ was written at a time of big stomach churning foreboding for me. It reflects thinking that something external can help at a time like that, like moving somewhere new, meeting someone, stupid vices, anything that we reach out for to give us some feeling that shitty times can be fixed.

 

In this track are the real echoes of shoegaze as spiralling riffs conjure forth Mazzy Star and Slowdive. You spiral with it, sinking into its depths, but it lacks the awe of those influences – something made up for on Honey.

This starts off the same way, the gloop and gloom pulls you in but rather than cycling this way throughout, Watkins drumming picks up part way through; a percussive foil for that soft-echoing vocal, pinning down the bolshier guitar.

Closer Trust Fund Babysteps away in tone being a far more upbeat number, closer to Salad and Sounds From The City era PJ Harvey. It rattles along with more jangle than distortion, with a bite in the lyric as much as a shimmer to the percussion.

Hanya build a sound which belies their two-piece set up and as a debut I Used To Love You, Now I Dont is full of promise; an understated addition to established genres.

I Used To Love You, Now I Don’t is out now via Leisure Records. Listen here. And make sure you catch Hanya live for us at The Finsbury on 14th December, along with Fightmilk, Handsome Eric and Candy Cane!

Sarah Lay
@sarahlay

Get In Her Ears Live @ The Windmill w/ Heavy Heart, 23.05.18

We were extremely excited to host our first night at legendary Windmill in Brixton on Wednesday. Having been a favourite London venue of ours for years now, to be able to put on some of our favourite bands there was really quite an honour.

The night kicks off in breath-taking fashion with London duo Scrounge. As front woman Lucy’s immense vocals rage alongside whirring, scuzzy hooks and Luke’s thrashing beats, the sound that the two of them create is truly impressive. One of the most exciting bands I’ve come across in a long time, I’m left completely blown away by Scrounge’s intense outpourings, and can’t wait to see what they have in store of us next.

Next up is another duo; this time in the form of Brighton’s Hanya. Treating us to their twinkling garage-rock sounds, front woman Heather’s impassioned, soulful vocals cast as all under their spell in an instant. As Hanya’s shimmering offerings flow with a subtle, gritty edge, it’s a simply dreamy set. And, as Heather shares with the crowd that this may be their favourite ever gig, I start to realise it may be mine too!

Penultimate band of the night, Tokyo Taboo, have wowed us more than once with their vibrant, energy-fuelled live set. And tonight is no different. As front woman Dolly Daggerz takes to the stage to blast out set opener ‘Make It Out Alive’, she starts out as she means to go on – dazzling the crowd, not only with an amazing amount of glitter and glowing heels, but with her unique, empowering charisma. Another unforgettable set from the band, Tokyo Taboo never fail to deliver.

Drawing the night to a close are Heavy Heart. As Anna Vincent’s luscious vocals flow seamlessly alongside spellbinding, multi-layered soundscapes, it’s impossible not to fall in love with this band’s captivating grace. Transfixed by their intricate musicality and majestic psychedelic haze, I’m left in awe of Heavy Heart’s totally dreamy offerings.

Huge thanks to the four amazing bands who played for us on Wednesday; to The Windmill for having us, and to everyone who made the trip out. It was a dream of a night, and we can’t wait to come back soon!

Mari Lane
@marimindles