Hana Vu – Hammer

Hana Vu by Andrew Yuyi Truong

Last month, Los-Angeles based Hana Vu announced her new album, Romanticism, will be released May 3rd via Ghostly International.

“Hammer” is a muscular, soaring anthem, which layers clipped guitar and mandolin strums with an ascending, floor-coating bass. “And I called the doctor and he said / There’s nothing wrong / And I called the pastor / And he said that love is strong,” Vu chants. While Hana isn’t religious, she is spiritual, and music and songwriting are a place where she goes to connect with her spirituality. “There is no answer / but I want one anyway,” she continues to probe, illustrating the great sense of seeking that pervades Romanticism.  “I do plead with the world, or the universe, in writing,” Vu says of her writing process. “My writing of songs is where I feel inclined to ask questions and look for answers within myself. ‘Hammer’ is one of the first songs I wrote for this record. It’s one of those songs you write to yourself amidst existential crisis. Maybe that’s what all songs are.”

The song’s accompanying video, directed by Henry Kaplan, sees Vu moving through a series of seemingly infinite loops.

The moments build to a crisis and ultimately: release. With camera direction partially inspired by a scene from the 1974 film The Conversation, the video doesn’t just repeat the same shot, but rather plays around with different start and end times, creating a feeling of jumping around within this repeated reality. Kaplan explains, “‘Hammer’ does the thing that I love most about Hana’s music: it expresses something primal, almost indescribable, about what it’s like to be alive. I wanted the video to somehow tap into that anxious, existential energy. I thought about what it’s like when you’re going through something, when every moment seems to loop endlessly in your brain until you manage to somehow find release. This innocent ‘thought’ led to Hana doing 50+ takes of herself running up to her jilted Scorpio ex’s door.”


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