Despite debuting back in 2017, each release from Italian-born alt-pop songstress HÅN shares a uniquely new dimension to her creativity without forfeiting an ounce of her distinct identity, thus arriving as a refreshing, newfound thrill practically akin to discovering her for the first time.
The summery delights of her first effort of the year, "sonic96" provide a taste of her yet-untitled and forthcoming debut album, swathed in a similar 90s nostalgia as "CTR," her collaborative effort with Giungla, that landed at the end of last year.
"This is the first track of the album I am releasing because it represents a sort of awakening, the turning point," she shares, referring to her ever-progressing sound in an email statement. "I think I realized so many things during this year and so many things have changed in such a small amount of time."
With its softly filtered synths in combination with the radio-esque, spoken-word opening, "sonic96" introduces itself in a way that's like being pulled out of a dream in the most pleasant way possible. Syrupy sweet vocal melodies float around in the background as the frequencies fade in, before cutting straight into the sun-soaked verse.
"Most people I know say that I have my head in the clouds. 'Sonic96' (my year of birth is 1996) is a fantasy world where I take refuge, while the people around me remind me of reality," HÅN continues. With the bracketing referring to each respective lyric, she elucidates that, "The track is about this, about how childish that is, and how I know that I’ll have to get out of it sooner or later. Living in this fantasy gives rise to communication problems between myself and others (I like it best when you don’t talk) which lead me to have to change (I changed my mouth) to adapt, but in this attempt, I end up doing things the wrong way (cut my hair too short, drive a car the wrong way)."
Additional textures, glittery melodies and further guitars add a softly driving sense of rhythm to the chorus, and in doing so, the tone subtly shifts away from its carefree and wholly dreamy sonic aesthetic (no pun intended) to one that's a touch more contemplative. This shift further compounds the duality of the lyricism, "Then there is this person (the clown on the artwork) who represents the threat of reality, and who hides matches under his jacket to wake me up from this fake safe place."
Consider appetites whet for the what's next from HÅN, and wherever her creativity takes her next, it'll no doubt be as strong as this.