Meet: hanbee and her debut LP Seashell Cassette
Get to know the up and coming songstress, her tender stories, and hazy indie pop sounds as she unveils a dreamy debut LP.
New-Zealand-based, Korean born songstress hanbee has been sporting her dreamy brand of indie pop since her 2021 debut EP in and out, winning over new listeners with placements in H&M and Zara retail playlists, and with her live shows supporting the likes of Telenova. A prolific writer - already dropping an EP odd one out, and a sprinkling of singles this year, she follows up today with a buttery smooth debut LP titled; Seashell Cassette.
Engulfed in a smooth indie sound likened to that of Benee, Clairo and Cults, with reverb drenched drums, steady bass lines, and the layers of guitars twangs, hanbee’s sharp ear for melody shines on Seashell Cassette, as she weaves her glimmering tales of love (sung in both Korean and English) around a picturesque landscape of the seaside. “Every beach carries an array of love stories, collected in seashells or swept away in endless waves. Pick up a seashell and press it to your ear. What story do you hear? [Seashell Cassette] brings the seaside stories of summery love, lost love, and endless love.” she shares.
Perfect for hazy summer days, be sure to let Seashell Cassette wrap you up in its warm and refreshing sounds, as we celebrate the glowing new release by getting to know hanbee a little better below.
Tell us about yourself? (age, location, hobbies/passions, what you do outside of music etc?)
My name is Hanbee, and I am a 25 year old Korean-New Zealander artist based in New Zealand. I was born in Korea but my family immigrated to NZ when I was a year old, so I grew up in Auckland for most of my life. As much as I love the hustle and bustle of big cities, I’m quite a quiet soul, so I love to read, listen to music, and write in my diary either at neighbourhood cafes, peaceful beaches, or in my cozy room. I also love to collect things - from clothes, accessories, vintage homeware, stationery, books, plants and more, I love collecting all sorts of unique items. Outside of music, I do a variety of freelancing work making use of my bilingual abilities, such as tutoring, translating documents, and more.
How long have you been making music?
I started properly making music in 2019 in my own bedroom, and it wasn’t until 2020 that I started releasing music, but as part of the band BLEE. I started releasing my solo music under the artist name ‘hanbee’ around early 2021, consisting of songs I made in 2020.
Tell us about your creative process?
My creative process slightly differs by the project and producer I work with, but I generally listen to the track first, then form the concept and melodies around it. I usually build lyrics after settling on the melodies, shaping them based on the feeling I get from the track. I always keep multiple diaries to collect scribbles and notes on my thoughts and ideas, which help a lot when I write lyrics.
What inspires you to create music/art?
I like to think that I’m a collector - all the things I collect become inspiration for my creative projects. Everything holds a story - whether it be an object from a vintage shop, waves crashing on the sun-soaked sand, or fleeting moments of a warm breeze whistling through the long grass… The loving people surrounding me appear and disappear in my life, all to tell their own stories, which inspire me hugely. The smallest things make all the difference, and I get inspired to tell these small stories through forms of art.
Tell us about your new album Seashell Cassette?
Pick up a seashell and press it to your ear, what story do you hear? Everything holds a story, and the beach is especially a place that holds a vast array of stories, from fading heartbreak to budding summer love. [Seashell Cassette] is all about the stories collected in seashells - blissful summer drives, lazy afternoons under the sun, lovers sharing melting ice cream, and the different sides of love - whether it be a mere haze or newfound precious gem. Inspired by 80s Japanese City pop, [Seashell Cassette] is a dreamy summer album for those who love the beach!
What's coming up for the rest of the year? (Music or otherwise)
Currently, I’m working on some new music to follow [Seashell Cassette]. I also have some exciting shows to announce later on, including playing with Hans. at Laneway Festival (Auckland) early next year!
How can fans best support your music?
Listening to my music is the best support I could ever wish for. My only hope is that my music can help my fans in any way possible - whether it relates to them in some way, make them feel a little less alone, or add some happiness into their day! I absolutely love it when listeners reach out to me about their stories and how my music affected them.
What have you been listening to lately?
My music taste is all over the place - I love to tune in to a lot of different genres, and always cherish my favorites. Lately, I’ve been listening to The Black Skirts’s [Teen Troubles], Rejjie Snow’s [Dear Annie], and electronic/dance tracks such as [History (Herzeloyde Remix)] by Cosmo’s Midnight.
hanbee's debut album Seashell Cassette is out now via ABG Records/The Orchard.