Music Review – Run Koko

Album: Run Koko
Band: Hey Anna

It’s finally summer. The sun is bright and hot, the gentle lake breeze washes over you like a refreshing wave, and every morning you feel like you’re in a tiny paradise. At least that is how my summer spent camping at a lake feels. What makes my paradise even more complete, besides spending it with family and friends, is an awesome soundtrack. Run Koko features music that perfectly captures the marvellous relaxing feelings that come with a summer spent outside.

Known throughout the NYC indie circuit, Run Koko is Hey Anna’s debut album; released July 9th, it’s just in time to make it onto your summer vacation playlist. Their music is an unusual combination of themes from The Beach Boys with vocals that resemble Serena Ryder and Feist, and the sounds are light and airy with the occasional Middle Eastern-influence. Hey Anna uses an interesting blend of conventional rock instruments and electronic effects to create music that is best described as ethereal.

Of the thirteen tracks on the album, “Mt. Piccu” is by far my favourite. The Middle Eastern influence in this song makes me think of the perfect summer festival music. And like the rest of their songs, the vocals are very delicate, yet I find that in this particular song the vocals are not overwhelmed by the intricate and powerful instruments. When I listen to the wonderful arrangements in this song I picture lazily floating on a raft down a calm and quiet river.

I also found “Island” to be fantastic. For some reason images of beaches and surfing come to mind as the track opens with a soft but strong bass sound reminding me of the rolling waves often seen at popular surf spots. But the singing is easily the centrepiece of this track. As I listen to this song I find myself begin carried away by the gentle tones.

Perhaps the only thing that I don’t like about this album is the lack of variety between songs. I found that as one song ended and the next one began they were so similar that I couldn’t tell the difference unless I paid close attention. But given that this album is light and relaxing this could be seen as a positive feature since it allows the listener to relax and soak in the sounds as the come. And as a summer album, listening to Run Koko reminds us to stop, relax, and enjoy some of your summer.

Overall, Hey Anna picked a perfect time to release their debut album, and I can’t wait to lay on the beach with my headphones on and revel in the soft and intricate sounds of Run Koko. And as students that may or may not be working on courses this summer, Run Koko provides us with a perfect break that forces us to go out and soak in some of that wonderful air and sunshine.

Samantha Stevens is an aspiring writer who loves combining her love for literature with photography, painting, music, and all creative pursuits.

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