EP REVIEW: Hanya – ‘Sea Shoes’

BRIGHTON’S small but perfectedly formed indie label Austerity Records, the brainchild of industry gentlemen and label co-owners Garry Saunders and Jamie Windless, has gone all chromium oxide on us with the launch of its C60 Club.

A  reel-to-reel move across from the singles club, Austerity launches its new venture thus: “A lot of us grew up not only collecting vinyl records, but collecting cassette tapes too. 

“The look and feel, the analogue warmth of the sound, making mixtapes – these were all big factors in those formative years of our music fandom. 

“With that, we are more than proud to introduce our new C60 Club, a bi-monthly, cassette-only series of releases from artists that we know, love and respect. The tapes will come with a fully-printed o-card and extras and will be strictly limited to a one-time-only 25 copies per release. No re-issues, no second editions.”

Whoah. That’s some serious format and edition exclusivity; best get in quick, especially if the series keeps up anything like the quality of the debut release, from Brighton’s Hanya.

The cassette features Hanya’s drawlingly lovely Sea Shoes EP, previously available only on download, appearing for the first time in a physical format. 

Opener “Dream Wife” slurs in on gloriously lazy and lofi guitars at a strutting pace. Hanya’s singer rejoicing in as much echo as you could wish, intones: “When I was seventeen / She looked just like me / She was my dream wife / God of my next life”. There’s something of early Pale Saints in those guitar textures, and more than a little of Creation’s early psych mysterions The Revolving Paint Dream in those dulcet vocals – which periodically echo out, anaesthetically. The chorus is all 60s’ girl group; the climax a raw-edged ‘gaze chord-out

“Everyone’s Tired” is hip-grinding, Heather coming over like Debbie Harry lending her talent to a rather ace US lofi band you wish you owned rare vinyl by. They’re not afraid to give those guitars a shoegazey thrash. “Cement” is a beautifully blurry 60s’ psych-pop meets British alt.guitar nugget. Must be all that sea air.

“I’ll Do It Tomorrow” is a spacey strumalong, guitars warm and hook-laden, full of mañana; the guitar break definitely has a nice dreampop spaciness. 

The C60 cassette release includes a bonus track, “Slice”. Ssssh. We got to hear it, cos we’re sometimes a bit spesh like that.

They’re a great little band, Hanya. Get yourself over to Austerity and order a cassette friend here.

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