Amidst our nostalgia driven pop culture, it is refreshing to discover artists who respond more directly to the strange, fractured world we live in today. Manchester-based musician bunny hoova is one of these kinds of artists. Her debut album LONGING is out now out on vinyl and cassette via them there records. In it, she melds together a number of disparate genres until they disappear inside one another, giving rise to a new hybrid form of leftfield pop.
LONGING offers a series of meditations on love, insecurity and technology, occurring within an ever-shifting, fragmented reality. It stitches together elements of trip hop, grunge, R&B and post punk into a strange, collapsed network of sound. It’s music that keeps the listener guessing – whenever an ounce of familiarity sets in, it mutates further into unexpected territories.
Murky rhythm guitar lays the foundation in ‘Seashell’, followed by a cascade of cut-glass synths. Bunny’s breathy vocals rise out of the rubble, describing the neurotic back and forth of a broken down relationship: “you keep quiet until I know what I’ve done wrong”. ‘Window’ offers a wave of tenderness while the caustic sing-song vocals of ‘Lazy_Easy’ denounce the mindless, destructive habits of consumer culture. In ‘Denying’ she confronts unwanted emotional loose ends against a backdrop of ambient haze and bittersweet, detuned keys.
Each track feels like peering through a keyhole into a different state of mind, with a current of detached melancholia running throughout. Bunny’s lyrics range from abstract, to confessional, to confrontational, depicting her struggles at a personal level and with the world at large. She is sincere about her open wounds, but her songs are laced with an acidity which keeps them from feeling overripe or too sentimental.
LONGING explores the uncomfortable thoughts and emotions which may haunt you during periods of wakefulness at night. In its most tender moments it still feels discordant, with Bunny’s barbed guitar accompaniment and fractured production techniques. It is a perplexing first effort which is constantly at odds with itself – acidic yet soulful, splintered yet cohesive as a whole.
Listen to LONGING on Bandcamp.