Just Give In/Never Going Home is the newest release from Hazel English, an American indie pop artist infusing her music with subtle folk influences, like predecessors such as Waxahatchee and Courtney Barnett.
Centring around a relationship, the EP is consistent thematically as well as atmospherically as all the tracks host those hazy-summer vibes we were hearing on the radio so much a few summers back. However, that’s where the major flaw is. It’s not bad, but it fails to push further than what we’ve all heard before; it’s pleasant but ultimately unfulfilling. Everything Hazel English attempts is done well, the jangle-y riffs flutter over pretty nostalgia-soaked vocals, and she even occasionally builds up synths for momentum, but it’s not enough to set her apart. You could argue that there’s very little space for risk in this type of endeavour, but that doesn’t compensate for a boring release.
The fact that Just Give In/Never Going Home was released simultaneously but categorised as a double EP instead of an album is the perfect example of her playing safe and opting for something more mediocre; it’s the most explicit way Hazel English appears to shy away from bold risks.
[Stacey Anderson – @staceyanders0n]