Smooth, velvety and raw: New Zealand’s singer-songwriter HINA delivers neo-pop chocolate for the soul on her EP Muse.
Aptly named after the Polynesian deity of the moon, HINA is a lady of the night. Self-taught, played, recorded, and produced from her bedroom, the DIY nature of this project is a nocturnal one. Brooding with seductive, smokey sensibilities, we were first introduced to this songstress back in June. Her debut song Libertine was the perfect neo-soul sample of what was to come.
Offering up another four sensual love letters on her first EP, she becomes her own Muse. Weaving in and out of RnB tempos and subtle tendrils of jazz, she remains of the moment. Muse is an intimate ode to romance and the after hours.
Leading with singles Scratch and Libertine, HINA reserves the warm-bodied affinity of Erykah Badu. Chalky vocals nestle around the slow heartbeat of bass, or an occasional kick drum. And before you can register, the spell of Muse has been cast. It’s a gooey and gorgeous start.
Unabashedly vulnerable and treacly in moments, you’d be forgiven for drifting into your own nostalgic daydreams. Very quickly, the songs of this New Zealand local become a comforting soundtrack. Go So Well lets you dissolve away and then zaps you back with electro-pop harmonies and the lick of the electric guitar.
“The EP consists of five tracks written over the course of a year. It follows the loose narrative (of my own life), with the first three tracks in chronological order of when they were written,” the artist says of the track.
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The lyrical imagery is anecdotal and charming, as well as relatable. Never impulsive, she navigates the sonic narratives with care and precision. Letter to My Love is the hero of the EP, a big, radio-ready ballad that will have to be seen to believed. Abandoning percussion, strings aid the heavenly falsetto moments. The one constant that transcends the gear changes of pace and genre on Muse is HINA’s perfect vocal performance.
Whether you’re in love or needing the remedy for a broken heart, the love letters of HINA are here for your spiritual nourishment.
Enjoy the cohesive production of this melismatic project below: