Image courtesy of Ghostly International

Hana Vu’s “Public Storage” is an album that gives us license to be a little shitty

Dan Harrison




Genres: Indie, bedroom pop, shoegaze, hot girl music

“Public Storage” by Hana Vu an album that slots right into the swing of seasons right now. “Gutter” is an impressive wall of noise, loud enough to drown out everything else as I walked through the rain tonight, but follow it up with “My House” and the floor dropped out from under me. The rain stopped, the world stopped, I kept walking. 

It’s an album that gives us license to be a little shitty, if that’s what gets you through ‘til tomorrow. “I keep score and scream it in the dark / Like you wanted, like you wanted,” Vu drones on “Gutter” as the noise washes over me, promising that this will only last a minute, that the morning will be better. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter though, as we are reminded on the next track: “Please take my empty head / And turn it into gold / this is the end of the world / ‘cause everything seems to get worse.” It’s nihilistic in the way that a breakup is the end of the world. It’s beautiful in the way that only a breakup can be. These two tracks might be the heart of Public Storage, but the same blood beats through all twelve tracks.

It’s an album of brief and violent imagining. Close your eyes as Vu sings “When I close my eyes / I have a new place / somewhere you can find me,” and you might just find yourself in a half-forgotten bedroom, a parking lot, a coffee shop – running through the same exhausted conversations. It lingers in unanswerable questions, like on “Anything Striking” as the song asks, quite simply, “when did we get so old?”

It’s an album that speaks for itself, nowhere better than in its closing lines: “Breaker, break me / Breaker, break my fall.” Asking for something at once to save us and destroy us, to enter into a conversation with ourselves knowing that it will hurt, knowing that we will be okay.

Above all this, or beside it, the album is fun as hell. It’s a killer blend of rock and pop and beautiful singing. If you skip all my rambling, cool, I get it, but listen to the songs. Just listen, don’t think, it’s not that deep. 

This is music at its best – not technically, not lyrically, not sonically – but asking something very specific of the listener: to stop and melt into a song. Shoegaze, slow rock, alt-rock, whatever you call it, is the perfect genre to slow down time, to let yourself linger in angst and bad decision, because the beautiful thing about an album like this is that it promises to be over. The rain will come back, the sun will shine, and you can keep Public Storage in your back pocket, your secret weapon when the world gets to be too much, as it so often does.