Hannah Jadagu 'Aperture' LP
Limited red vinyl.
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. What Is Going On? confronted some of the nation’s most urgent struggles through Jadagu’s compassionate perspective. What Is Going On? built on the small online fanbase Jadagu had developed by releasing music on SoundCloud for years as she realized her growing passion for songwriting.
Now, Jadagu is releasing 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 – 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 love and impeccable taste have been a constant since Jadagu was a kid. The siblings were raised on mom’s Young Money mixtapes and the Black Eyed Peas (to whom Hannah credits her love of vocoder) but it was in the sanctity of her sister’s car that Jadagu discovered the indie artists who inspire her work.
With Aperture, Jadagu faced the challenge of finding 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 remotely, sending stems to one another via email, before 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. “Every track on this album, except for ‘Admit It,’ was written first on guitar. But the blanket of synths 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.”
An aperture is 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 was ultimately a cathartic experience, one she now shares with you. Let the light in.
Catalogue number: SP1544X
Label: Sub Pop