Listen to and go deep within Osaka, the hazy debut album from Perth's HYLA
And see it launched this Saturday 16 September at Jack Rabbit Slim's.
There is so much to love about the movie Lost In Translation I could devote literal days to discussing it, but for the purpose and relevance of this article I'll just mention that the soundtrack is perfect, especially the use of My Bloody Valentine's Sometimes in the film. Why bring this up here you ask? Well there's some parallels to be drawn between MBV being shoegaze deitys, and Perth's own HYLA staking a claim as being very worthy of mention in the same sentence. The musical project of Alex Hayes, HYLA today released their debut album, Osaka, written entirely while Hayes was living in Japan... Do you see the dots that I'm connecting here? TL;DR, HYLA's music would sound just as perfect on the Lost In Translation soundrack as Sometimes does, Osaka is a fucking incredible debut album, and I'm stoked Alex sent us a track by track for it that you can read while you listen to it below.
Although this is the opening track, this was actually the last song written for the album, I felt like the album needed a piece of music to open with that felt like it setup the story. Lyrically the song is about things never truly ending between people, I guess making it a hopeful song. It references writing your name in cement, so even if things change in your life, no one can take away your past.
2. Chaos For You
This was written about an old friend who I used to hangout with a lot and slowly watched go down a pretty slippery slope from drug use. Chaos For You refers to making things chaotic in your own life to suit someone else, and perhaps find inspiration in the dystopia.
3. Take Sides
One of the only songs written with a rhythmic idea in mind, I wanted the song to have a rumbling feel and big drops that felt like a large wall of sound explosion. Lyrically the song is about living somewhat of a double life, and being a different person depending on the people you are around.
4. Foreign Towers
One my favourite songs on the album and probably the most personal. The name refers to the two-towered apartment block I lived in in Osaka. When I wrote it, I initially worried about its simplicity but came to love it for that. Lyrically it’s about trying to hold a relationship together whilst realising all the mistakes you've made.
5. Swam Out
I wrote this song for my friend who passed away. I had the chorus in my head for a long time but never completed the song until a long time later. Im glad I did, and feel like it's one of the best Hyla songs to date. My friend Tristan played cello on this song which really added to the melancholic feel and gave it another dimension in the studio.
6. Friends Are Kind Enough
A bit of a non subtle dig at fair weather ‘friends’ that aren't really around when you need them. The title itself is an acronym (not very clever). Influence wise this has really early Verve all over it, one of my favourite bands and eras of music. The song itself is kind of a free flowing jam compared too the others and the guitar riff was come up with on the day of tracking by our lead guitarist Axel.
This one is a jangly Byrd’s style tune. I feel like the chord progressions in this song are particularly eery. I have this habit of writing melodies in my head beyond my vocal range and this chorus was a prime example. It took a few goes in the studio to belt this one out but we got there. Originally I was going to record this just as an acoustic song but the full band sounded better eventually.
It’s a song about watching people roam around the streets of Perth late at night on weekends looking to take some exciting or inspiring path but generally it not amounting to much. I guess it reflects on me giving up going out too much, or feeling anxious or pessimistic about leaving the house.
Fraction was one of the heavier songs written for the record and does stray from the dreamy and spaced out side of our music a bit. I guess it's a slight tip of the hat to grungier garage influences, but with a call and response like a 60s pop vocal line. I think I was listening to a lot of Ty Segall and Black Lips at the time. Lyrically I was writing about feeling limited in realising where I wanted to be, like there was always things getting in the way. So I guess that aggression found its way onto the record in the form of this tune.
It’s the first song I wrote living in Japan and I think it was always going to be instrumental. I have been into soundscapes and soundtracks for a long time and I guess this is my soundtrack piece, summing up what Osaka city felt like to me. The atmospheric noises are all from the city itself and Japanese poetry I had my Japanese friends read and record. I think the song captures the various feels of the city, peaceful and zen in the rain and chaotic, crazy and busy as well, so I think the the song reflects this in its dynamic.
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