Hanu Vu (Ghostly International)
In a landscape of blank, homogenous storage unit buildings, they all tend to blend together yet each unit itself is a unique time capsule of every-day detritus on view for all to ignore. Unless you’re L.A. native Hana Vu, whose debut full length, Public Storage, leans into the metaphor of these spaces and relates them to music as “public expressions of thoughts, feelings, baggage, experiences that accumulate every year and fill little units such as ‘albums.”
Inspired by one such building, Vu shares herself by delivery of a record that’s lush and viscerally atmospheric in that sets an enveloping mood while reaching in and demanding deserved attention. Vu describes it as “very invasive and intense sounding music,” and it acts sonically welcoming in inviting interaction. It would be unsatisfied to be relegated to the background unlike the buildings of inspiration.
Public Storage opens with the quiet, vulnerable “April Fool” and builds quickly, moving into the title track where we’re first introduced to the driving guitars that rise and fall throughout the album. Single “Aubade,” medieval French for “dawn serenade” or a poem or song evoked to greet the day or more often to lament the end of night, Vu pairs sorrow with upbeat music in a dichotomy also found thematically in songs like “My House.” As explained to Consequence of Sound, Vu says, “I was listening to Diana Rossʼ “Itʼs My House” and I just thought that song was funny, how the beautiful things in her house are like an allegory for the love in her life. And so I thought it would be funny to do that, but if your house was gross.”
Vu’s fully-formed artistry is a tribute to her youth well-spent forging a path through L.A.’s vast DIY scene, taking in influences and making them into something new and uniquely her own. “Aubade” is spinning for listeners of Colorado Sound, KEXP, WNXP, and KTBG.