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  • Alexa Leung

Review: "Ephemera" - HOKO

In the wake of any breakup, you might find yourself thinking, “Where do I go from here?” HOKO’s “Ephemera” asks that exact question with the same amount of longing and wistful dreaminess that comes with pondering such a query. Surrounded by a bright tempo and twinkling keys, “Ephemera” is a lighthearted song about moving on from a relationship and figuring out what to do with the leftover pieces. It’s a much more upbeat and fun take on a breakup song– so much so that you can’t help but bob your head and sing along to its excellent lyrics.

“Ephemera” reminds me of the synth-heavy dance-pop of the 2010s, which is arguably one of the best eras of dance-pop. With an upbeat tempo in the midst of strings and synth, “Ephemera” is one of those songs that you need to move your body to as your lips form around HOKO’s amazing songwriting, catchy and addictive. The chorus goes, “How do you do it?/How do you forget?” simple yet packed with meaning; this song captures exactly what everyone thinks post-breakup, when they feel like they're floating around, just existing but not living. “We’re just wasting into nothing/Are you living?”: it’s that dead zone between remembering and forgetting, when your memory still clings (“Incessant replication/Can’t seem to get away”) to everything and anything that happened in the relationship, from the small things, like their home city, to the years you spent together. HOKO uses repetition to hammer home how these things swirl in your head, the cyclical “Only ephemera/Only ephemera” in the chorus being the central point of the song. When things end, we are ephemera, existing only for a short time before we fizzle out.

The duo HOKO, comprised of Nathaniel Hoho on vocals and Jesse Kotansky on guitar, are experimental pop incarnate. Reaching far past defined genre labels, HOKO has their very own style of music that encapsulates alternative, psychedelia, and rock; it’s an undefinable sound, but undeniably compelling. Inspired by David Bowie, Queen, and The Beatles, HOKO traces their footsteps by paving their very own musical path with a singular soundscape. Their 2020 single “Candy Eyes” has over 5.5 million plays on Spotify, and their other 2020 singles “OK OK” and “Hellogoodbye” also have over 4 million plays, respectively. They’ve played at Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo, and have supported artists such as Milky Chance and Young The Giant. HOKO truly is one-of-a-kind, and “Ephemera” is another tune to add to the list of songs that transcends genres. They're also currently touring, so if you'd like to pick up some tickets, you can visit their website here to grab them before the tour ends.

Written By Alexa Leung



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