Artist to Watch: HANA

A few weeks ago I went to see Purity Ring live at the Orlando House of Blues, and it was honestly one of the best shows I’ve ever been to.

20150912_223624_LLSDespite the torrential downpour I got caught in waiting outside the venue, everything was perfect; the music, the lights, the feel-good atmosphere created by soaking wet, blissed-out, 20-somethings. All of it added up to an excellent night, but the real icing on the cake was the opening act; a mysterious, spectral goddess with a killer high ponytail and even better voice, HANA.

Normally, I research and sample a few songs by the opener before going to a show, but between school, work, and interning, I seriously didn’t have the time, and I’m really glad I didn’t. From the first bass drop of her set, I was immediately transfixed and pleasantly suprised (#EpicUnderstatement) by the gorgeous soundscapes (courtesy of LA producer Blood Diamonds) and enormous vocal range of the 26-year old artist.

With a fanbase including Grimes, Lorde, and Purity Ring, HANA is truly a star reborn and on the rise. Beginning her career with an acoustic indie debut in 2009, HANA didn’t really find her fame, and probably for the best. Following a 6 year sabbatical and extensive touring around college campuses, HANA ditched her acoustic guitar in favor of pounding drums, clean production, and droning drum machines for an otherworldly sound reminiscent of indie R&B stars Banks and FKA Twigs.

With the July release of her (re)debut single, “Clay,” HANA became the talk of the blogesphere. The track is a very poppy, sweetly sung “fuck you, I’m doing just fine” to a controlling ex-lover set to an infectious 80’s-esque backdrop, and it’s incredibly addictive.

The real jewel of both her live set and available singles, however, is her minimal, trip-hoppy, base-heavy track “Avalanche.” Using her voice as the primary instrument, HANA bids farewell to the same controlling ex-lover in “Clay” in a gorgeous falsetto, really demonstrating her ridiculous range and true symbiosis with her producer/boyfriend Blood Diamonds.

The singer does not currently have an EP available, but her two singles are available for purchase on iTunes and are streaming on Spotify. To keep up with HANA (and impatiently await her album), follow her on Twitter and Soundcloud.

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