Brighton-based dream pop act and JOVM mainstays Hanya — currently Heather Sheret (vocals, guitar), Benjamin Varnes (guitar) and Jack Watkins (drums) — exploded into the national and international scenes with the release of their debut EP, I Used to Love You, Now I Don’t, an effort that saw the British outfit quickly and firmly establish a sound that featured elements of dream pop and shoegaze.
Much like countless acts across the globe, the Brighton-based JOVM mainstays had plans to build upon a rapidly growing profile both nationally and internationally: they released their acclaimed, sophomore EP Sea Shoes, which they supported with touring across the UK and their Stateside debut at that year’s New Colossus Festival.
Last year, the Brighton-based released their acclaimed third EP 100 Metre Sprint which featured:
- “Texas,” a shimmering bit of dream pop that nods at 70s AM rock, and focuses on the longing and excitement of a new crush/new love/new situationship
- “Monochrome,”a hazy and slow-burning ballad that celebrates the pleasures of life’s small things
- “Lydia,” a slow-burning and gorgeous track that continues upon their winning mix of 70s AM rock and Beach House-like dream pop.
- “Fortunes,” a slow burning track, which featured A Storm In Heaven like painterly textures, ethereal harmonies and deeply personal, lived-in lyricism.
- “Logan’s Run,” which struck me as a lush and brooding synthesis of AM Rock and lush, A Storm in Heaven-like textures. Fittingly, the track was inspired by the 1970’s sci-fi classic, which the band watched a lot during the pandemic.
Hanya’s newest single, the Theo Verney-produced “Amateur Professional” sees the rising Brighton-based outfit marrying their live show energy with their recorded sound — while further refining and pushing that sound in subtle yet decided new direction. Centered around a post-punk influenced take on shoegaze and dream pop that features shimmering and reverb-drenched guitars paired with angular and propulsive bass lines, Sheret’s gorgeous and vulnerable delivery singing tongue-in-cheek lyrics and the Brighton-based JOVM’s penchant for rousingly anthemic hooks, “Amateur Professional” strikes at something deeply familiar for me — and those I’ve spent my adult life writing about: The moral and mental gymnastics that creatives must grapple with when attempting to make a side-hustle viable in a consumer world that doesn’t value authenticity and constantly vies for every moment of our attention.
“‘Amateur Professional’ was written at a time when we felt our most cynical,” Hanya explains. “Trying to remain inspired in this chaos and constantly grappling with self-doubt is something every person experiences, and we wanted to explore that in this world of a ‘fake-it-till-you-make-it’ mentality. The track is about attempting to be a full-time professional in whatever it is you want, even if you feel like a lousy amateur a lot of the time. It’s a fighting song, for when you’re feeling like giving up.”