Premiere: UT Kirin’s Overwhelming, Psychedelic “Hammered at the Housewarming”

UT Kirin © 2018
UT Kirin © 2018

We’ve all known stress, but you haven’t heard it quite like this before: UT Kirin’s new song “Hammered at the Housewarming” is a psychedelic sonic cacophony capturing the overwhelming weight of the world. Prepare for a lyrical onslaught of epic proportions:

there’s a silence that only exists alone
in the third floor bathroom of the SF MOMA
and there’s something in the eyes
in the mirror you never noticed

and you’re trying to figure out if that acid is working
cause the German impressionists brought tears to your eyes
when the details were higher resolution than real life
when the straw and acrylic melted all of your woes away
regarding how this is your last weekend living in the Bay
so you spent it alone taking drugs bought in Golden Gate
trying to glean meaning from 2010 Ezra Koenig
but the lyrics that start Diplomat’s Son just so perfectly
describe where your life is three weeks before 23
now everyone says that they’ll drive up to visit me
so long as I get them all hammered at the housewarming
and by then it’ll seem stupid to be sad to be leaving
cause all we did was get drunk and get brunch in the morning
“Hammered at the Housewarming” – UT Kirin
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Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Hammered at the Housewarming,” the propulsive new song from UT Kirin. The Berkeley-based band of HR Huber-Rodriguez, David Seo, Nicholas Troughton and Kevin Coleman, UT Kirin’s sound could very well be described as the indie rock equivalent to bedroom pop — though “bedroom rock” just doesn’t have the same ring to it. This label may not last long, though, as the band’s new release finds them expanding their sound.

UT Kirin - Hammered at the Housewarming
UT Kirin – Hammered at the Housewarming

What makes “Hammered at the Housewarming” such an interesting piece is that neither chord progression, nor its tempo ever changes. singer/songwriter HR Huber-Rodriguez sings his lungs out over a seemingy endless thought-stream as layer upon layer of instrumentation creates a heavy and intense listening experience. It may not be one of the band’s “acid-soaked anthems,” but “Hammered at the Housewarming” is certainly a dazzling shout-out-loud trip.

‘I wrote the lyrics to Hammered on yellow legal pad during a long, boring meeting at my job as a consultant for the California utilities companies,” Huber-Rodriguez tells Atwood Magazine. “I had just moved to Davis, CA, a small college town, to be with my fiancé, who would start grad school there. I was coming from Berkeley, where I had finished my grad school. She hadn’t arrived yet, and the small town was killing me. For the first time in my life I wasn’t in school, I lived alone, I had no friends, there was nothing exciting going on around me, and the job was soul crushing. I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had made a deal with my future self; I’d sacrifice school and the art scene and energy of the Bay when I was 22, 23 to lock things down in my relationship, which I trust is the right move and will result in real happiness and fulfillment at age 30, 35, 40. But at that moment, working the desk job, it was awful.”

UT Kirin © 2018
UT Kirin © 2018
now none of my friends are thinking about getting married
which makes more sense than making agreements
with your 50-year-old self where you say “okay you get 23
and I’ll work the desk job, I’ll fill out the 1040″
and I’ll try to make sure her life is better than it would be
and I’ll try to make sure she doesn’t regret that French party
and I’ll lose all the bros in exchange for posterity
in exchange for not ever sadly regretting
how wistful you were at 19 and 20
when you got a tattoo and had dreams of world traveling
in exchange for photos of the Andes and India
that sees you and her smiling and meaning it at thirty-one
and not ceasing turning up, and trying to have some fun
although thirty years out fun seems like a construction
put together by Google to sell simulacrums
Vonnegut bangs the earth from a coffin in Illium

How Huber-Rodriguez manages to find space for breaths is a true mystery. His evocative voice doesn’t seem to notice the swelling chaos that steadily surrounds him, though such an overwhelming immersion is hard to miss. H explains, “Musically, ‘Hammered’ is unusual for a UT Kirin song in that the chord progression and tempo never change. To combat how constant the rhythm and melody are, I wanted new instruments, synths and guitars and harmonies, entering and exiting from the left and right channels pretty much at every measure. I had tried acid for the first time a few months prior, and listening on nice headphones, I wanted to recreate what being on psychedelic drugs was like. The beginning of the song is grey, like being sober, and then it rapidly transitions to the colorful, psychedelic world. I wanted there to be a ton going on in the song even though at its core it’s just a simple four-chord progression. I don’t want the song to be an endorsement for psychedelics, I was just trying to recreate what they looked like.”

Intentionally bombastic but impressively modest about it, UT Kirin’s new single will leave you winded, dazed and confused – and better off because of it. Stream “Hammered at the Housewarming” exclusively on Atwood Magazine! UT Kirin’s new single is out on all platforms next Friday, May 4, 2018.

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UT Kirin - Hammered at the Housewarming

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