Eaves Wilder: Hookey EP (Secretly Canadian) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Eaves Wilder

Hookey EP

Secretly Canadian

Mar 28, 2023 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Emerging UK artist Eaves Wilder began recording, producing, and releasing her own music at the age of 16. However, despite receiving offers, she didn’t want to sign a record deal until she turned 18 because nobody wants their mum, no matter how cool they may be, to sign a deal on their behalf, right? Subsequently, in 2021, Wilder signed with Secretly Canadian and has now released her debut EP, Hookey, which demonstrates her ability to write powerful and insanely catchy music that continues to evolve.

The EP’s title isn’t a tribute to New Order’s erstwhile bassist but instead takes its name from the New York slang for playing truant from school (which incidentally is thought to have its roots in the Dutch 19th-century word “hoekje,” meaning “nook”—used as a place to hide). There’s a dual meaning for Wilder, having spent most of her teens dodging lessons to spend time in the music room at school, where she began writing and recording songs. She also says, “Through lyrics, production, or melody, my main thing is always adding as many hooks as possible—or how can I expect people to listen?”

The EP opens with the blistering “I Stole Your Jumper,” which doesn’t provide closure on The Sultans of Ping FC’s 30-year-old question but rather is a song Wilder describes as “a very British and passive-aggressive revenge fantasy.” It’s informed by the sexism Wilder experienced during her adolescence in the music biz, and it’s also a track full of personality, acerbic wit, and charm, and feels like a sonic leap forward from her equally intriguing earlier singles such as the ethereal “Man We Was Lonely” and the shoegaze rush of “Won’t Be Happy.”

Track two on Hookey, “Are You Diagnosed?,” is a driving-off-the-wall slice of guitar pop, replete with a memorable chorus. Although it’s slightly tongue-in-cheek, it also shines a light on a serious issue as Eaves looks to de-romanticize mental illness, based on her own experiences, as well as addressing how difficult it is to access treatment. “Morning Rain” transports listeners into a mesmerizing realm of hazy psych-pop, replete with celestial vocals, nimble acoustics, and a lo-fi drum track, while EP closer “Connect the Rooms” continues in a similar vein, mixing shoegazey psych-pop and dream-pop beautifully. It’s an EP that demonstrates Eaves Wilder’s talent for subtlety, nuance, humor, and of course, huge pop hooks. (www.eaveswilder.bandcamp.com/)

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10


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