Hannah Jadagu is poised to take the indie rock world by storm this year. The 20-year-old Texas-born, NYC-based artist recently released the song “What You Did” in anticipation of her debut LP, Aperture, due out in May from Sub Pop Records.
The track, released on February 22, chronicles the crumbling of a relationship in the face of an uncomfortable revelation, and is a heavy and satisfying slice of rich reverb and introspective lyrics. The guitars are at once fuzzy and searing, allowing Jadagu’s voice to float along like a swarm of clouds. It’s shoegaze meets classic noisy indie rock. The song’s themes of blame, of talking behind backs, of realizing you have been manipulated, are what make it seem both very singular and able to be empathized by a broader audience, a dichotomy that Jadagu has stated she aims to achieve within her music. It’s an anthem of releasing things that no longer serve, and in being resolute in making decisions to inspire personal growth.
“Act like it’s best if we make amends, but I don’t wanna talk to you again / I don’t wanna talk to you again … Say your favorite line, choose your words just right / I know what you did”
The song’s accompanying music video, directed by Leia Jospe, features scenes of Jadagu watching TV static on a couch filled with an arrangement of pillows and stuffed animals, at one point eating what looks like ramen, and performing the song with a band, supercut with brief clips of driving through cityscapes as the static begins to switch between all the aforementioned scenes.
Jadagu’s sound evokes contemporary indie musicians such as Jay Som, Frankie Cosmos, and Vagabon, and does emulate some of their ethos, but she’s a unique individual preparing to expand the usual perspectives seen within the genre that’s often much more welcoming of a particular type of worldview. She’s also a truly indie, DIY artist, having recorded the entirety of her 2021 EP “What Is Going On?” on her iPhone with just her guitar and GarageBand.
It’s an exciting prospect, at least for this writer, to see her rise more into the mainstream, especially as someone for whom the opportunity to witness musicians who resemble me, playing the kind of music I truly love, comes rather few and far between. She makes music for the anxious girls, for Black girls, for the anxious Black girls, which is absolutely not to pigeonhole her or to staunch her aspirations as a musician. It’s just nice to relate to an artist who could, theoretically perhaps, also more easily relate to you.
Jadagu’s debut album “Aperture” arrives May 19 from the trailblazing indie label Sub Pop, responsible for having revitalized rock and alternative music in the mainstream over nearly four decades. She will also be performing at Treefort Fest in downtown Boise, ID in March.
Pre-order “Aperture” digitally right here, and check out the vinyl, CD, and cassette versions here.
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