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Hana Vu – “Care”

Hana Vu – “Care” single artwork.

It’s been a hot second since we last heard from Los Angeles indie pop artist Hana Vu. Back in 2021, Vu’s third album Public Storage and follow-up project Parking Lot EP grabbed our attention with its upgraded production work from Vu’s DIY roots with her jump to Ghostly International (honestly, the album rollout’s stark visuals were enough to occupy a lot of space in my mind). And to this day, “Everybody’s Birthday,” my personal favorite of the bunch, remains a hallmark of Vu’s discography due to the way she flips the script on New Year’s Day/birthday celebrations and turns it into a time for somber reflection. 

Hana Vu – Romanticism

So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that “Care,” a song about Vu “wondering if everyone considered things as much or more or less than I do,” is being released on Valentine’s Day. As the first single off of Vu’s fourth album, Romanticism, “Care” stands in stark contrast to the love that is shown today through chocolates and roses. Instead, “Care” is a moving, indie pop plea of pessimism. Together with Jackson Phillips (who produced Vu’s last album), Vu’s words here cut deep about the feeling of being the only one who emotionally invests in any sort of relationship — lyrics like “And it’s okay that no one cares about you / And no one cares about me / ‘Cause what is care anyway?” are haunting thoughts that creep in. Trading out her usual dark brooding beats for more guitars, “Care” kind of feels like the anti-serenade for the most romantic day of the year. But despite the song’s central message, there’s still a bit of hope that lives on there, no matter how small it may be.

Alongside the track release, the song also comes with a music video from Maegan Houang, a frequent collaborator of Vu’s. Houang also serves as Romanticism’s artistic director, and the music video ties in very nicely with the Artemisia Gentileschi-inspired artwork that adorns the album cover. The music video for “Care” is relentlessly brutal, depicting a beheaded Vu singing backwards as we trace back to the events that led to her decapitation. There’s a wonderfully stark contrast between the violent brutalism of the video and the message of the song, and it all comes together with chill-inducing precision by the end. And spoiler alert, if you don’t like spiders… well, just don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Romanticism will be out on May 3rd on Ghostly International. You can pre-order the album through Ghostly International or the Secretly Store.

Header photo by Andrew Yuyi Truong.

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