HANA VU

Public Storage

Ghostly

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Storage units hold possessions on pause from the outside world, objects capable of reconnecting us to a time or place. Hana Vu (born in 2000s California) grew up with her family making regular use of public storage spaces in Los Angeles, moving every few years, leaving a mix of the sacred and the mundane to sit inside concrete and steel. The 20-year-old musician sees the art of making and releasing songs in a similar sense: “these public expressions of thoughts, feelings, baggage, experiences that accumulate every year and fill little units such as ‘albums.’” She lived next to one of these buildings when she started writing her full-length Ghostly International debut, Public Storage, and its towering presence lends a metaphor to a record that sounds far bigger than the bedroom it came from. The emotional chattels of these guitar-driven pop songs are scattered in different boxes, but they all belonged to one person at one point. Being left behind gives these vignettes a tone of brooding introspection. Across the album, Vu excavates an internal universe, loading and unpacking memories, moods, and imagined scenes with agency, charisma, and conviction.

Vu’s
relationship with music began when she picked up a guitar her dad had lying around and taught herself to play. She’d wake up every day and listen to LA’s ALT 98.7, home to ‘90s and ‘00s alternative rock; later in high school, she found the local DIY scene. She remembers, “A lot of my peer musicians were surf rock/punk type bands and so I tried to fit into that when I was gigging around. But what I was listening to at that time [St. Vincent, Sufjan Stevens] was very different from what I performed.” Ultimately she’d do her own thing, keeping a journal of bedroom pop experiments on Bandcamp, including a low-key Willow Smith collaboration and covers of The Cure and Phil Collins. She caught the ear of Gorilla vs. Bear, who released Vu’s self-produced debut EP in 2018 on their Luminelle Recordings imprint, followed by a double EP the next year. Public Storage builds on the sound of Vu’s early work underscoring her strengths as a songwriter with a deeper sense of luster, sophistication, and urgency. She calls it “very invasive and intense sounding music,” refreshingly out of step with contemporary trends; this is music to engage with rather than lean back to.

Tracklist

1. April Fool
2. Public Storage
3. Aubade
4. Heaven
5. Keeper
6. Gutter
7. My House
8. World's Worst
9. Anything Striking
10. Everybody's Birthday
11. I Got
12. Maker