I only discovered hathaw9y recently through their Naver OnStage performance. The band’s three song debut is a mix of surf rock, indie pop, and funk. Three songs isn’t usually enough to make a big statement, but hathaw9y create a compelling introduction immediately.
“boy” is a road trip song. The slow tempo matches with the repetitive hum of asphalt. The bass and drums create the core of the song with the guitar speaking in unison with the vocals. kiwi‘s vocals are warm and smooth with a slight tinge of rasp. It works perfectly over the melodies. TeukMin‘s vocals mold perfectly with kiwi and her bass playing is right on point. It’s not only following the tempo but speaks with and against the guitar rhythms. You also can’t ignore sEy0‘s drumming which isn’t about “more is better,” but supporting the song from start to finish.
“Love” as the single is the right choice. It will attract the most immediate interest. The vocal rhythm is the first thing that sticks out. Not because it’s simple, but how the melody presents itself in a backwards groove. hathaw9y is a sibling to AKUA, following the soothing, lo-fi-esque melodies. I don’t know how to accurately describe how much I enjoy this song, but it has everything I enjoy about music.
To end their first EP, “hayley” features TeukMin as the main vocal. Her vocals carry the same warm and welcome tone that’s presented in previous songs, but the switch gives the instrumental a new feeling. kiwi plays back up vocals on “hayley,” and still matches TeukMin without overpowering her. “hayley” has a slightly faster tempo and a more indie rock feeling, but expands on the band’s overall style. sEy0 continues to support the instrumentals without getting lost in the background. I want to hear more songs as the main vocal and split the two voices on the next release.
hathaw9y’s Boy Loves Hayley is a tremendous start to this band. Each of the three songs is perfect. There’s a perfect synthesis between the three members and I hope that will last into the next release any beyond.