Despite their name, Hater is a band that everyone will love, assuming you have not done so already. Earlier this year, they released their spellbinding debut album, You Tried, which evidenced the Malmö-based quartet’s ability to effortlessly write songs that are devastating in their lyrical impact yet bewitching to hear. Demonstrating that there are no limits to the band’s creativity and brilliance, they released a four-song EP called Red Blinders.
Like everything they have done to date, Red Blinders is a gorgeous output, and opener, “Blushing”, perfectly illustrates their feel-good power. Like a calm ocean breeze blowing on a hot day, “Blushing” is refreshing and awe-inspiring. The surf-pop melody and the groovy bass line create the feeling one that one has escaped the chaos of the city for the tranquility of the beach. Frontwoman Caroline Landahl’s vocals are delicate, intimate, and vulnerable, as she shares a moment of weakness in her life. We all have experienced this at least once, where we let our guard down and allow someone to walk in and engulf our lives.
“Rest” is an even more dazzling in its effect. Hater adopt a more lo-fi approach, which adds a more intimate feeling to the song. As the jangly guitar plucks and the delayed rhythms establish the dreamy soundscape, Landahl’s lush vocals tell a story about a person taking their final journey. In the band’s own dazzling way, they are saying goodbye to someone or more accurately celebrating the life of someone dear.
Hater turn up the temperature with the sultry title track, “Red Blinders”. Fifties French cinema streams through this mesmerizing number, and the suspenseful approach mirrors Landahl’s story of a mysterious rendez-vous. The conclusion comes in the form of the blustery and anthemic “Penthouse”. A retro-vibe, this time from the ’60s, is once again utilized. But unlike most homes in the sky where we are left to gaze at the scenery, Hater make us want to run and run far away from the manipulating playboy. The guitar work and rhythms create an urgent atmosphere, mimicking the protagonist’s frustration or possibly fear. Landahl’s saccharine voice, meanwhile, explains how difficult it is to leave someone, especially one who has controlled you for so long.
Controlling is a way to describe Hater’s effects on its growing fan base. Their music isn’t flawless, yet the raw, emotional pull of their songs is what draws people in. Furthermore, they are experts at their craft, creating music that extends across the wide spectrum of the indie landscape. They’re not one-trick ponies – not even on a four-song output like Red Blinders – which makes them difficult to hate. On the contrary, they’re a young band that should be embraced and celebrated for consistently allowing us to momentarily escape the shackles of reality.
Hater are Måns Leonartsson, Adam Agace, Lukas Thomasson, and Caroline Landahl.
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