Hana Vu may be fresh out of high school, but on ‘Nicole Kidman / Anne Hathaway’ EP she has more insight and perspective than many far older. Vu casts herself in an ethereal light, with world-weary lyrics about personal identity and strength combined with upbeat tones and moody guitars. The EP opens with the almost-poppy ‘After the Party’, and it doesn't lack in bangers to bop in your bedroom to, but it’s the introspective moments that set it apart from its Gen Z sad girl indie contemporaries.
‘Reflection’ is a cover from the Disney film Mulan, which speaks to Vu’s generational touchstones and her experience as an Asian American. The cover especially poignant considering her recent decision to not attend university to pursue music full time. The feeling of not living up to the expectations of others, particularly those closest to you, echo throughout the EP.
Vu’s songs come off like a battle cry, her voice demanding to be heard over heavy guitar and psychedelic sounds, telling the listening “I am here and I am here to stay, and you will take me seriously!”
On songs like ‘Everyone in the Room’ Vu hits on themes of imposter syndrome, self-doubt, and trying to prove yourself when you’re young, and you’re learning. You know that feeling when you think you’re sooo different from everyone else when in reality, we’re all so much more alike than we realize? Vu captures it authentically. Forget Kylie Jenner, 2019 is the year of Hana Vu “realizing things.”
On the final song of the EP ‘Worm’, Vu laments “I don’t fly away, but I wanted to.” She sounds so much older than she is in the best way possible. Growing up in Los Angeles, she quickly learned the pitfalls of fame and how everything is never as it seems. Yet she is still hopeful. She keeps working, she keeps hustling. She certainly won’t stop being herself or making music. You can tell she’s growing up and growing tremendously as a songwriter and musician, and she can only get even better from here.