NEWS : WED, FEB 22, 2023 at 7:00 AM
Hannah Jadagu’s Aperture: Her First Full-Length Album, Available May 19th
On Friday, May 19th, Hannah Jadagu (pron. juh-dah-goo) will release Aperture, her first full-length effort on CD/LP/CS/DSPs worldwide from Sub Pop. The 12-song album, which features “What You Did,” “Lose,” “Admit It,” and “Say it Now,” was co-produced by Jadagu and Max Robert Baby at Greasy Studios Paris, mixed by Marcus Linon, and mastered by Dave Cooley at Elysian Mastering.
While her debut digital-only EP What Is Going On? was heavy on layered reverb, making Jadagu’s vocals feel “shy,” she took what she calls a more “intimate, up close” approach while recording her voice for the LP. That experimentation is best heard on the rousing lead single “What You Did,” which leverages crushing accusations against the song’s unnamed subject. Screaming static and a crunchy guitar part softens under Jadagu’s calm delivery as she sings: “Act like it’s best if we make amends, but I don’t wanna talk to you again.”(Damn). Watch the official video “What You Did,” which stars Jadagu, and is directed by Leia Jospé.
Aperture is available for preorder now from Sub Pop. LP preorders from megamart.subpop.com, select independent retailers in North America, and the UK and EU, will receive the limited Loser edition on red transparent vinyl (while supplies last).
Jadagu’s What Is Going On?, and follow-up singles “All My Time Is Wasted,” and previously released Aperture-highlight “Say It Now,” have earned her praise from the likes of Brooklyn Vegan, The FADER, For the Rabbits, Alternative Press, Guitar World, Jezebel, SPIN, Stereogum, Ones to Watch, Under the Radar, Dork, CLASH, The Independent, DIY, The Line of Best Fit, The Forty Five, and Our Culture.
CLASH says “Say It Now” is “A lucid slice of indie pop, the hazy guitars wrap themselves around a lyric that refuses to shy away from difficult questions.” The Line of Best Fit raves, calling it “a triumphantly dreamlike stitching together of smooth R&B tones and spacious indie instrumentation, with pop elements bleeding through the seams.” Stereogum offers this, “[‘Say It Now’] is “a dreamy, poppy indie-rock song with a chorus big enough to sweep you away.”
Jadagu also toured steadily, playing shows and winning over audiences across the US and Europe opening for the likes Faye Webster, Beach Fossils, Wild Nothing, Ritt Momney, Metronomy and Arlo Parks, and performing at Denmark’s Roskilde Festival in July and Pitchfork Music Fest in London. A headlining North American tour announcement will follow in the coming weeks.
More on Hannah Jadagu’s Aperture:
Fresh out of high school, Hannah Jadagu released her debut EP, What Is Going On?, a collection of intimate bedroom pop tracks recorded entirely on an iPhone 7, which was, at the time, Jadagu’s most accessible mode of production. An off-the-cuff approach to music making and instinctive ability to write unforgettable hooks belied the intensity of Jadagu’s subject matter. In a short run time, What Is Going On? confronts some of the nation’s most urgent struggles all through Jadagu’s compassionate perspective. “I want my songs to be both super intimate and still universally relatable,” Jadagu says. “With the EP, so many people told me that the songs resonated with them on a personal level, and that’s what I’m always hoping for.”
Resonate it did; What Is Going On? is Jadagu’s first Sub Pop release, but she’d been putting out music on SoundCloud for years, garnering a small online fanbase as she settled into an aesthetic, and recognition from a broader audience was overdue. “It really took off when I became a percussionist in my middle school’s band,” she says. “Writing songs started as a hobby and quickly became a passion to the point that I spent all my free time recording.”
On May 19th, 2023 Jadagu premieres Aperture, her first LP and most ambitious work to date. Written in the years between graduating from high school in Mesquite, TX and her sophomore year of college in New York, Aperture finds Jadagu in a state of transition. “Where I grew up, everyone is Christian; even if you don’t go to church, you’re still practicing in some form,” Jadagu says, laughing. “Moving out of my small hometown has made me reflect on how embedded Christianity is in the culture down there, and though I’ve been questioning my relationship to the church since high school, it’s definitely a theme on this album, but so is family.”
As a kid, Jadagu followed her older sister – a major source of inspiration who she refers to as “the blueprint” – to a local children’s chorus, where she received choral training. “I hated it,” Jadagu admits. “But it taught me how to harmonize, how to discover my tone, how to recognize and write melody.” The aching single “Admit It” is dedicated to Jadagu’s sister, whose boundless love and impeccable taste has been a constant for Jadagu ever since she was a kid. At home, the siblings were raised on mom’s Young Money mixtapes and the Black Eyed Peas (to whom she credits her love of vocoder) but it was in the sanctity of her sister’s car that Jadagu discovered indie artists who would go on to inspire her work.
“Lose” showcases Jadagu’s love of contemporary indie auteurs as it weaves a spare and unpretentious guitar riff with barebones piano chords all while Jadagu sings about the thrill and underlying fear that comes with beginning a new relationship. It is, in her words, a “classic pop song.” “The things we haven’t done/ Play out in my mind/ Would you just give me time?” she sings, nearing the end, as the skittering drumbeat propels the song from a place of contemplative yearning to defiance. “Every track on this album, except for “Admit It”, was written first on guitar, which is an instrumental throughline,” Jadagu says. “But the blanket of synths I use throughout helps me move between sensibilities. There’s rock Hannah, there’s hip-hop Hannah, and so on. I didn’t want any of the songs to sound too alike.”
Emblematic of this ethos is the single “Warning Sign,” which starts out as an acoustic, R&B slowburner before a muscular electric guitar enters the mix and the song morphs into something akin to psychedelic. “I knew I could make another album on my phone, but I wanted to make sure that I was leveling up, especially for the debut,” Jadagu says. So she began the difficult process of searching for a co-producer capable of complementing her work without dominating it. Enter Max Robert Baby, a French songwriter and producer who captured Jadagu’s attention with his take on Aperture’s lead single “Say It Now.” The duo worked together remotely, sending stems to one another via email, before eventually meeting in-person for the first time at Greasy Studios on the outskirts of Paris.
“When I recorded my EP, it was all MIDI, but in the studio Max and I worked with a ton of analog instruments,” Jadagu says. “There’s some Glockenspiel on the album, calling back to my percussionist days, and some synth warping that adds texture.” While What Is Going On? was heavy on layered reverb, making Jadagu’s vocals feel “shy,” she took what she calls a more “intimate, up close” approach while recording her voice for the LP. That experimentation is best heard on the rousing “What You Did,” which leverages crushing accusations against the song’s unnamed subject. Screaming static and a crunchy guitar part softens under Jadagu’s calm delivery as she sings: “Act like it’s best if we make amends, but I dont wanna talk to you again.”
An aperture is strictly defined as an opening, a hole, a gap. On a camera, it’s the mechanism that light passes through, allowing a photographer to immortalize a moment in time. For Jadagu, the word perfectly encapsulates the mood of her debut album. In the years it took her to complete, she faced moments of darkness, sure, but the process of making it, her first ever in a professional studio, was ultimately a cathartic experience, one she now shares with you, the listener. Let the light in.
2. Say It Now
3. Six Months
4. What You Did
6. Admit It
8. Shut Down
9. Warning Sign
10. Scratch The Surface
11. Letter To Myself
12. Your Thoughts Are Ur Biggest Obstacle