How to achieve self-love with Brandy Haze’s EP « That’s Unfortunate »

How to achieve self-love with Brandy Haze’s EP « That’s Unfortunate »

“Sometimes we take things that we don’t deserve
and i know it hurts but I’m learning to put myself first”

Brandy Haze, « No Reply »

A silky voice and star power make Brandy Haze an artist to watch, and her latest EP That’s Unfortunate is prime proof. Although That’s Unfortunate arrives just six months after her last release, Silhouette, it manages to be quite distinct from its predecessor.

After all, Haze has a knack for keeping things new and ever-evolving. Not one to commit to a single genre, she is influenced by elements of RnB, trap, Neo Soul, pop, and electronic dance. Hailing from Chino Hills, California, Haze’s music evokes an effortless West Coast nonchalance.

That's Unfortunate Sounds So Beautiful

Her first project Roses— produced with Ian Thomas (who has worked with Bryson Tiller) and Leven Kali (collaborates with Snoh Aalegrah)— is a House-Neo Soul hybrid. Its follow-up Garden Fire veers more toward alt RnB and features a burning rose on its cover art, as if setting afire the symbolic focal point of her prior EP. Because from ashes rise new growth, right?

It is therefore fitting that That’s Unfortunate is charmingly eclectic, each song like a delectable candy in a box of chocolates. Haze seems to have had a lot of fun with this one, getting creative with a witty radio show motif throughout and tracks that are cool and groovy and bright.

For That’s Unfortunate, Haze draws on the more disappointing moments from her love life. However, as the quippy name suggests, the EP never gets tragic. There is a slightly matter of fact, wry tone to the project, expressed both through exceptional songwriting and infectious beats that manage to sound contemporary while still sparkling with nostalgic notes. Resonant throughout is Haze’s warm, expressive voice.

The Tracks, Piece by Piece

Framing That’s Unfortunate as a segment on a radio channel named 77.7 FU, the intro to the EP invites the listener to imagine being “off on the sunny side of California, a place of sand, hopes, and dreams… The weather report today: sunny, with a hint of” — and here the sound distorts— “bullshit.”

The following track, « California Lies, » is the first actual song on the EP. It is a lush, upbeat bop that seems fit for a rave and is absolutely meant to be jammed out to. Haze’s voice dips and soars, the bite in her tone so clear you can almost taste the bitterness on your own tongue.

The chorus builds infectiously and carries the listener through a rich soundscape of electro beats and distant violins. At the end of “California Lies,” Channel 77.7 FU radio comes back on, and a breathy voice proclaims that she has the worst thing you can ever catch: “feelings.”

Waiting” is soulful and buttery smooth, as Haze sings about how being with a certain person is a pure escape. Certainly the most sensuous song on the project, she croons “night and day, I’ll be waiting for ya / Hypnotized, swear these thighs, they been begging for ya.”

Unfortunate” has an 80’s beat, groovy but still modern— much like the whole EP. After all, Brandy Haze takes this slightly outmoded concept of the radio and uses it as a storytelling device, adding layers of intrigue with the radio show host’s hypnotic voice and mood-setting script.

“Unfortunate” is ostensibly the inspiration behind the EP’s name— in the song she sings “it’s been unfortunate to know you baby,” her voice expressive and swirling over a slow jam, psychedelic beat. The brightly colored music video fits the 80’s tone of the song, featuring slinky dancing, disco balls, diners, and rotary phones.

No Reply” is the final song on That’s Unfortunate. Again, here Brandy Haze blends the contemporary with the nostalgic. She takes the very modern reference of texting— “that’s why when you text me you get no reply”— and places it in an old-school sonic landscape reminiscent of 90s RnB. The moody song is layered with electric guitar and a sultry downtempo beat that serve to further empower Haze’s message of leaving exes on read.

In the EP’s outro “Until Tomorrow,” the radio host apologizes for reporting sunny skies: “it looks like it was mostly rain. [chuckles] We can’t get it right every time. I guess all you got to do is keep trying. So… until tomorrow.” In an endearingly positive parting message, Haze tells us that despite unexpected rain, there is always the possibility that tomorrow will be sunny and bright.

Piper Anderson

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