EP release: HOO HAs
Release date: 29 July 2016
More info: Band website
HOO HAs are an indie-rock quartet hailing from London. Frontman Jamie started off writing poetry which progressed to working alongside his old friend the late Robb Skipper, helping to write lyrics for his post-Holloways projects. After meeting Mark and Adam when they were performing in various musical outfits (including Hares), jamming at parties led to sessions above the Silver Bullet in Finsbury Park and electric late night gigs downstairs followed soon after. Incendiary live shows have always been a big part of HOO HAs heritage and they have since played shows supporting the likes of Gaz Coombes and alongside their good friends in the local scene such as: Francobollo, LA Salami, Mohit, Amaroun and Itchy Teeth.
As the frontman of HOO HAs, Jamie’s deadpan vocal belies his clever off-kilter narratives about the 21st-century experience, which are always brutally honest and entertaining. The band substitute cynicism and pretention for wit and dark sarcastic humour, the lyrical content of the EP is full of 90’s Britpop nonchalance. It’s frank, yet charmingly candid, and whilst sharp, the driving force behind HOO HAs songwriting is its idiosyncratic simplicity.
Combining cocky and powerful guitar hooks with anthemic vocal melodies and memorable shout-along lyrics, tracks such as ‘This is the New Me’ and ‘Hanna’ feel like they have been plucked from golden-era of NME indie. The band cite their influences as everything from “from JJ Cale to J Dilla”, and it shows, there are clear influences in the earlier tracks on the EP from the likes of Blur, whilst also calling to mind the sounds of Babyshambles and at times Art Brut. The latter tracks on the EP such as ‘Tippex Jeans’ display a completely different element of the HOO HAs songwriting technique with hints of Captain Beefheart and more prog-blues infused guitar lines and psych driven bass parts. Similarly the vocals take a beguiling avant-garde tone and melody whilst the lyrics still retain their acuity.
On the songwriting behind their lead single, ‘Hanna’, Jamie said: "Hanna was written in the heat of a bitter moment. The end of a relationship can lead to you saying things despite knowing there is more to the story. Now looking back to when I was writing Hanna I feel I may have been focusing on her immaturity to avoid confronting my own..."
This EP, much like 21st Century life, is a fast one-way play-through, tackling a whole range of emotions and post-millennial topics. It’s a loose narrative of the low-stakes anxiety that prods us throughout our waking lives, touching on topics usually only discovered post ‘coming of age’ along with the realisation that things are only as hard as you make them for yourself. HOO HAs are writing genuine songs about modern living and irreverently having a good time doing it, and as far as introductions go, their uninhibited and refreshingly original debut is as proficient as it is authentic. It’s reflective, percipient and demands multiple listens – It’s not one to be missed.
Press reaction to date
“Irresistible!” – John Kennedy, Radio X
“I Love This! Terrific Stuff” – Gary Crowley, BBC Introducing