At the top end of the summer, we got to know Oakland’s Tanukichan, who is Hannah Van Loon, formerly of Trails and Ways. But now, we’re really getting to know her. The delectable first course of her musical career, following the appetizer single we got a few months back, comes in the form of debut EP Radiolove, which is out today on Company Records.
She covers lots of ground in the four songs that comprise the release. Each song is perfectly balanced and emotionally stunning, steeped in moments of somberness and, on the other side of the coin, sheer fuzzy guitar noise. The sonic ebb and flow within each song make the EP an engrossing listen.
On my first listen of the opening track “Enough,” I was sitting in a cafe with loads of ambient noise and terrible, half-broken earbuds connected to my computer. This time, I heard wonderful, droning dream-pop with effortless vocals from Van Loon. I was amazed to hear that once I made my second listen, in a quiet room, without the natural distortion of my cheap listening device, I realized that the droney quality I heard was produced by guitars.
My first thought was that this song was like a choose-your-own-adventure story, depending on the listening apparatus you use. But digging deeper, I was immersed in the fuzzy guitars, ever-present bass, and crystalline vocals that all seemed to dance around a melodic center. Like some music that roots itself in noise, it’s the opposite of hooky, but that’s not a bad thing here. Hear for yourself below.
Van Loon succeeds at combining that somber, deadpan brilliance we all love about guitar-heavy Stereolab cuts with shoegazey Wall-of-Sound in the vein of My Bloody Valentine. But what sets Tanukichan apart from a band like MBV is that her voice is at the center, and comes in loud and clear.
She’s in great company with a new wave of bands who use noisiness as a creative asset to an emotional backbone, like local label-mate Madeline Kenney, and this EP is a bright new step in a bright musical future that we can’t wait to see unfold.
‘Radiolove’ is out now on Company Records.