Review: Hannya White – No Preview


Among my favourite moments on No Preview are when Hannya White starts whistling. That idle spill of high pitch, a kite cut free and released quivering into the updraft – the sound of someone away with themselves, rising above synthesiser presets that crash into eachother like hunks of splayed and splattered plastic. This is lo-fi electro pop assembled after spinning on the spot for half an hour, watching MIDI gridlines melt into smiles as drum samples stumble with sympathetic nauseated imbalance. White interchanges the whistle for a sung-mumble, of which only snatches of lyrics are discernible. “People far away…” she croons during the coda to “Be My Friend”, which cuts suddenly into a scribbled ballad for its final 30 seconds. “Laughter…playing for me…”. It’s like fantasising about socialising, the simplicity of play even, after months spent wandering the streets alone. Pitch-bend feels like a thematic through-line in the absence of other footholds – the whirr of passing cartoon spaceships, tangled beds of drooping violins – although perhaps sentiment is the true coalescer. “These are all love songs”, White states on her Bandcamp. Sure enough, it’s all here: the giddy intoxication, the dominance of pure feeling over the comfort of structure, the underlying fear of rejection.

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