“Bugs” By Hank

"Bugs" By Hank is Northern Transmissions Song of the Day. The track is off the singer/songwriter's album Call Me Hank
"Bugs" By Hank is Northern Transmissions Song of the Day

Sara L’Abriola AKA: Hank, once went to a house party with her girlfriend. The scenario was fraught from the start, as the soiree was actually happening at the home of that girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend. The situation soon deteriorated—the girlfriend disappeared into the boyfriend’s bedroom to, as L’Abriola later put it, “air griefs on the sheets you used to share.” No good, right? It was, however, a crucial moment in the development of L’Abriola’s full identity, in the acceptance of her id.

Her jealousy, she remembers, suggested that of an alpha male, all-consuming and relentless. She needed to get the fuck out of that party, and fast. She funneled those harsh feelings not only into a sharp indictment called “Your Ex, Man” but also into a more masculine, more extreme side of her emotional self.

L’Abriola’s classically modern five-song debut under the name Hank, equally indebted to Brill Building pop and ultra-processed hyperpop—is a prepossessing coming-of-age snapshot. Questions of sobriety, pronouns, maturity, and empathy show L’Abriola wrestling with who they are in real time. At 24, they wonder if they are ready to grow up and settle down or if they are too young to feel so old? Is staying sober the best way to deal with a problem, or should she rush out of that party house for “a shot and a beer”? Can a very hard break-up be a new beginning when it only feels like the end? In 16 minutes, Call Me Hank convincingly poses decades of questions threaded together by a single experiential credo: You gotta live to find out, man.


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