“Vinegar in a stream”: Brooklyn’s h. pruz Bares Their Soul in Debut ‘No Glory,’ an Achingly Raw Album of Change, Guilt, & Growth

h. pruz © Felix Walworth
h. pruz © Felix Walworth
h. pruz’s Hannah Pruzinsky takes us track-by-track through their achingly intimate and breathtakingly vulnerable debut solo album ‘No Glory,’ a beautifully raw, soul-stirring indie folk record born out of life-altering change and the guilt that comes with it.
for fans of sister., Adrianne Lenker, Mazzy Star, Julien Baker
Stream: “I Keep Changing” – h. pruz




The goal was to make an album of songs that felt as raw and intimate as they did the day they were written.

For Brooklyn’s Hannah Pruzinsky, that was the tallest order possible: Wrenched from their innermost depths during a time of emotional and physical upheaval, their songs weren’t exactly “light,” nor were they for the faint of heart. Nevertheless, the singer/songwriter’s debut album prevails in peeling back the layers of their humanity one song, one stanza, and one verse at a time. Achingly intimate and breathtakingly vulnerable, h. pruz’s No Glory is a soul-stirring indie folk record of grief, healing, acceptance, and inner reckoning.

It’s a collection of songs wrestling with life’s inherent fragility; how, no matter how strong our foundations may seem, we’re all living in our own house of cards – trying our best to maintain our balance and keep the peace inside and out, lest it all fall down.

No Glory - h. pruz
No Glory – h. pruz
I keep seeing change
Peel away the borders
Of things with weight like copper
Thought it was gold
Til it turned green
In the rain
I keep doing things
That bruise the side of my legs
Running far in a field
Through the middle of the day
It’s so precious to be worn
It’s so precious in the pain
I keep pursing my lips
Muscles overworked
And when you start to taste
The blood between your molars
You’ll know betray in what is firm
In how it rots and makes a space
– “I Keep Changing,” h. pruz

Released March 29, 2024 via Mtn Laurel Recording Co., No Glory aches from the inside out as h. pruz finds her voice in the deep end of the emotional spectrum. Active since 2021 (they released a debut entitled EP, again, there in 2022), h. pruz is the solo project of New York City-based singer/songwriter Hannah Pruzinsky, who is best known for their work as a founding member of indie rock by-way-of indie folk band, sister.

The trio’s debut album Abundance released in October 2023 and received critical acclaim as a heavy yet soft, tender yet hard-hitting album of bare, exposed souls: “Abundance aches with a warm inner light as sister. candidly explore what it means to be alive and connected to others in this cold, dark world,” Atwood Magazine wrote upon in a feature upon album’s release, going on to call it a “beautiful, soul-stirring indie rock embrace of the human condition in its rawest and most vulnerable forms.”

MAXIMALIST, HOMEMADE, & JOYFUL: A GUIDE TO SISTER.’S DEEPLY VULNERABLE DEBUT ALBUM, ‘ABUNDANCE’

:: FEATURE ::



Whereas sister. sees Pruzinsky paired up with bandmates Ceci Sturman and James Chrisman, h. pruz is something of a musical and existential playground for their own unfiltered mind, body, and spirit.

It’s a diary-like artistry; a space for experimentation and limitless vulnerability, where they can share those parts of themselves and their world that they don’t even share – at least, not to the same degree – with the other two, let alone anyone else.

“The genesis of this project was originally as a space to experiment with the idea of writing and producing songs on my own,” Pruzinsky says explains. “So within the vein of experimentation, it felt necessary that there be a hint of anonymity, even if that feels largely gone now. The abbreviation ‘h. pruz’ itself is a play on a similar project name I had in middle school that I do not dare reveal any more details about.”

Speaking more about their solo artistry, they add, “‘h. pruz’ incorporates a lot more free space and emptiness into it… I like to play with the power of a dramatic pause, gaps. Also the songwriting feels diaristic because I have no other collaborators in the room with me when I’m writing them. That’s a lot of the fun of sister., though. The things we get to create in that shared dynamic are far beyond what I can think up alone. It’s taught me a lot about letting go of an expected outcome to a song in a way I don’t have to when I’m alone, because there is only the route I’ve already decided to take.”

h. pruz © Felix Walworth
h. pruz © Felix Walworth



The circumstances that precipitated this solo record are about as intimate, raw, and personal as it gets.

Pruzinsky was deep in the thick of several big life changes that were hitting them like a wrecking ball, all at once. Turmoil in their personal and professional lives created a perfect storm of “inspirational material” for their so-called musical diary; of course, what they were really doing was trying to process life’s turbulence and friction in real time; to make sense of feelings and emotions that all to often leave us at a loss for words.

“It’s only just starting to settle into a shape that I can make out [what this record is about],” they admit to Atwood Magazine. “When I was writing the songs, it was simply just the happenings of my life at the time: A life-altering break-up that I couldn’t unsee the need to go through with, leaving a job that felt alien to how I saw myself, falling in love. I think the main thing that I was working through, within all this change, was the guilt that I left myself in. I had to learn forgiveness… and I also had to learn selfishness, too. I think both of those things are at play in a lot of the songs.”

“Writing No Glory was my chance to explore every crevice of guilt, second thought, and pain that comes with the complete changing of oneself that comes with a life altering change. It was a lesson to myself in giving in to the complete dismantling of a structure I had taken so much time to build, the necessary acknowledgement of guilt (and its seat next to pain), and the inevitable hope of forgiveness, one extending back to myself.”

h. pruz © Felix Walworth
h. pruz © Felix Walworth

Pruzinsky continues, “I was pulled to the idea of making this album feel as raw and intimate as it felt when I’d written the songs, and at that time I thought the way to do that would be to record the record entirely to tape. Logistically and financially, that wasn’t really a possibility this time around, but I hope I can do that sometime in the future.”

“But that same unaltered feeling that comes with recording to tape still was able to happen, I think, on this record. I recorded everything upstate in a cabin with my partner, Felix Walworth, where we’d spent weeks at a time working through the songs, committed to taking full takes of a thing. Trusting when a take felt good, and going with it.”

“I hope it is a door opening to a world that I can only further explore and share with both myself and whoever decides to listen,” they add. “This record felt urgent. I think what is to come will allow for more meandering and seeing what things look and sound like after the dust settles.”

h. pruz © Felix Walworth
h. pruz © Felix Walworth



I think the main thing that I was working through, within all this change, was the guilt that I left myself in. I had to learn forgiveness… and I also had to learn selfishness, too

Pruzinsky candidly describes No Glory as unvarnished, patient, and incidental.

The title, they explain, comes from a line in the album’s third track, “Worldfire.”

“[It’s] one of the tracks that I think best encapsulates the album as a whole. The line itself is my way of underlining the dark underbelly of change that I was fixated on while writing this record.”

“Worldfire” is a definitive standout on No Glory, thanks in large part to its unfiltered display of raw vulnerability. “I promise it wasn’t all smoke; we met in a snowstorm, what you saw was steam,” Pruzinsky sings, their delicate voice a haunting vessel of pain and longing in a thick, tense, shiver-inducing landscape. “But assurance, it’s a desert of mourning. There’s no glory, there’s no warning…”

Vinegar in a stream
Pour it from the bridge
Time takes what we leave
Lord of flies taken down by a creek
I watch in memoriam
And leave it to sink
And I promise
It wasn’t all smoke
We met in a snowstorm
What you saw was steam
But assurance
It’s a desert of mourning
There’s no glory
There’s no warning




If “Worldfire” is one of h. pruz’s lowest lows, then album opener “Dark Sun” is one of their highest highs. Other parts of the breathtakingly intimate and evocative No Glory certainly come alive with the weight of a heavy human heart, but the record’s first track basks in the warm, magical glow of romance; of two souls’ connection. Soaked in love and the sweet heat of raw infatuation, “Dark Sun” is a fragile, poignant, and achingly beautiful indie folk daydream: Through gentle music and candid poetry, Pruzinsky captures and conveys one of life’s most moving, deeply meaningful experiences – forever enshrining in song what is all too often relegated to a fleeting memory.

Forget everything else is real,” they beckon, an emotionally charged whisper on the wind. “We’re here in the sun.” Pruzinsky surrenders their full physical and emotional self to the immediacy, the passion, the unbridled bliss and beauty of fresh romance:

I’m your dark
Hiding place
Crush me up
Take a part
Residue
On your fingers
Take my hand
Leave a mark

“‘Dark Sun’ is a song I wrote trying to capture the delirium that comes with a new love,” they tell Atwood Magazine. “It’s obsessive and deep, it’s getting wrapped up in the idolization of someone you probably barely know.  It was nice to give myself permission to lean into that feeling, to get caught up in that infatuation that feels so rare. It’s a type of greediness I want to take full advantage of when I feel it. I like that in this song, it’s clear it’s allowed.”

“I feel like this song also is a really important touchstone and starting point for a larger story I’ve been trying to work through this past year, so it’s exciting to show the shimmery frenzied side of that before I get to tell the rest.”




Basking in the Sweet Heat of h. pruz's “Dark Sun,” an Intimate & Love-Soaked Indie Folk Daydream

:: TODAY'S SONG ::

Further album highlights include the wondrous, up-close and personal “Dawn,” the smoldering, seductive “Hurting,” and the churning, achingly charged fever dream “I Keep Changing,” in which Pruzinsky attempts to express their own inner growth and transformation as it’s happening.

“I’m trying to capture the feeling of the moment when you can feel something inside you giving way to a newer form, and how ugly yet unstoppable and freeing that ultimately felt for me at the time,” they explain. “I was running nearly every day on backroads upstate, shedding off the being that I used to be.”

“Writing ‘I Keep Changing’ left me in this crazed state – that feels like a highlight. I just started running to it every day when I had the first voice memos of it.”




For Pruzinsky, the lighter, lilting “Angel” (whose lyric, “It’s hard to be an angel if I listen to what my body wants” sends shivers down the spine) is another personal favorite. “Recording [it] felt really special,” they smile. “Felix played piano while I played guitar and sang. We both mess up and stumble over this part of the song that ended up feeling like magic.”

As for their favorite lyrics, they note, “I feel proud of ‘Hurting’ as a whole; it feels hard to pull a lyric out of context and out of its timing. Maybe: ‘Things that glow can’t handle violence’ – hey, I knew that already from ‘Useful.’”

Like a charm on your wrist
Look to me for an answer
What is best for us in this,
I could guess
How can we exist
In this design?
Finger in a glass of water,
I’ll smudge the lines
You’re so used to hurting
That it doesn’t feel wrong
I’m so used to hurting too
You’re so used to hurting
That it doesn’t feel wrong
I’m so used to hurting you
– “Hurting,” h. pruz




Whereas “Dark Sun” starts the album in a place of carefree reverie, “Useful” closes the record with a different kind of tranquility.

It’s the musical manifestation of the calm after a long storm – a stillness that’s weathered turbulence, and lived to tell the tale. “All the air and space between us I hope it can be used… I hope it can be useful,” Pruzinsky reflects, at once heavy-hearted and free-spirited, finding lessons in life’s wreckage that they carry forward as they move onward. Their voice is barely audible as they ever-so-softly, delicately conclude, “There are details we might misread, that the all was everything, but the all was everything.”

With this finale, we’re reminded of the final words in “Dark Sun,” where life is beautiful and love is in the air: “Take my hand, leave a mark, and forget everything else is real; we’re here in the sun.” Yes, life has a nasty way of getting in the way of our joy, and so many good things seem to, for whatever reason, have a finite shelf life – yet knowing these truths shouldn’t get in the way of us seeking happiness in our lives.

h. pruz © Felix Walworth
h. pruz © Felix Walworth



Pruzinsky has previously described “no glory” as a mantra referring to the visceral, human complexity embedded in their songs.

This description rings truer and truer the deeper we dive into their music. Ultimately, h. pruz is so much more than an open book throughout this debut album; they’re an open, aching heart and soul. Without a doubt, this record feels as raw and intimate as it possibly could.

And again, that’s saying something.

“For me, this album felt like multiple degrees of healing a lot of guilt,” Pruzinsky shares. “Putting it out has felt like many different things: a lot of surprises, a lot of anxiety. Mostly, it’s felt really good. I’m excited to rest now and settle more into the present of my life.  Write (more), also not write (even more than that).”

Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside h. pruz’s No Glory with Atwood Magazine as Hannah Pruzinsky goes track-by-track through the music and lyrics of their debut album!

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:: stream/purchase No Glory here ::
:: connect with h. pruz here ::
Stream: ‘No Glory’ – h. pruz



:: Inside No Glory ::

No Glory - h. pruz

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Dark Sun

This song is the “you should do exactly what you want to do when you want to do it” gluttonous song I wrote to try to capture the feeling of a new crush. It’s supposed to feel completely unreasonable and all-encompassing.

Dawn

I thought we would cut this song from the album, but Felix insisted we try re-working it. It feels like my new favorite, now, so I’m really thankful they fought to keep it around.  The original inspiration for this was a strong, knowing gust of wind that I had felt while I was falling in love, the autumn before I recorded all of these.

Worldfire

This is the first song I think I’ve ever written from (and for) the piano. I wrote it in the same room I would later record it in, some 6 months down the line. I micc’ed myself and played it in the empty cabin.  Felix came back after a walk and added the moog elements to it.

I Keep Changing

I wrote a demo to this song over the summer and would obsessively listen to it while running each day. I remember there was a day I was trying to run the furthest I’d ever gone, and thought I’d try running to a lake outside of Woodstock. I never made it, but I did stumble upon some words instead.

Angel

This was the first song written that made it on to the album. I was taking a finger-picking class at the time and was unknowingly seeing a path in my life I had not yet decided to take.

List Mist

This song is ridden with the deep anxiety and uncertainty that comes with a new relationship. There’s an insane bar in Woodstock that I couldn’t help but allude to in this one.

Hurting

“Hurting” is about rooted, small, repeated tragedies. I wrote this very slowly over the course of a few weeks. The guitar part on the 12 string just felt so painfu (emotionally and physically), and it allowed me to actively work through some cycles in my life that feel very stagnant

Return Retreat

This was actually the ending of “Dawn”, where Felix and I just kept playing for a few minutes. A while ago Hannah Read posted on twitter about a desire to help people with track ordering. I sent this record to her and she had the idea to split up “Dawn” and this ending of it in this particular way. I stayed with the track order she’d suggested and now I can’t imagine the album in a different way.

Useful

Yes, this song came from an actual lightning bug that I found in my bedroom. I wrote this song a few days after breaking up with a long-term partner, and that felt like a small, private (no longer!) miracle. It was one of the first songs I shared with Felix, and they said (playfully) I should quit my job and only write songs. About a month later, I did.

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:: stream/purchase No Glory here ::
:: connect with h. pruz here ::



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No Glory - h. pruz

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? © Felix Walworth


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