Hana Vu Public Storage Ghostly International
Growing up with parents who moved house frequently, Hana Vu has made use of a lot of public storage spaces. On her new full-length album, the 21-year-old draws inspiration from these concrete units that have been home to her possessions time and time again. Across 12 songs, she unpacks emotional baggage and memories, transferring them from her Los Angeles bedroom to the world.
However, unlike the transience of its namesake, Public Storage feels like a pointed documentation of Vu’s recent years, exploring the lows, the highs and the nondescript scenes among them: “I’m waiting for something/ Anything striking/ I could just fall asleep,” she sighs on Anything Striking. Accordingly, the record links between understated, downtempo moments with fluttering percussion and anthemic pop motifs carried by crashing choruses of guitars.
Opener April Fool is a balmy, piano-led number that delicately traces the process of moving on, before Vu plunges into the rich, whining rhythm section of the title track. Here, Vu’s otherwise-subdued contralto grows in intensity, blurring the lines between a murmur and an urgent cry. On Heaven, guitar riffs sweep and swoon in a manner not unlike early Beach House, the song summoning a sense of yearning reminiscent of anyone’s coming-of-age experience. This is however also the album’s Achilles’ heel with its scattershot moods, the structure of the record feels a little clumsy at times, never letting you truly settle in. But in that same respect, it feels real, cosy and starkly personal, just like the setting it was written in.