“Bad Place” by The Hunna was quite the musical experience, as the song not-so-obviously undergoes a series of subtle transitions.
I was very quick to reject the vocalist, as the tone felt very ingenuine and on the brink of autotune. I think that this style of singing is definitely more prominent throughout the pop genre, but as a lover of classic rock and roll, the tone feels too soft and buttery for it to sound authentic. I personally like to feel a little edge and grain, which arguably provides music with more color.
But then the orchestral strings came in, and the seemingly too-good-to-be-true vocals started to make more sense with the accompaniment of such studious sound. I absolutely love the lift and grace produced by the string family in an orchestra, and the significance of this sound proves to be both timeless and versatile across all genres. Here, the song really begins to swell, creating a feeling of despair in relationship with the lyrics, as the singer is “in a bad place, looking for a good time”.
After this swirl of longing begins to rise, a clean and rather simple electric guitar steps in, bringing the singer and the strings closer to Earth. And shortly after, the percussion kicks through to achieve a sense of rhythm, as the song comes closer to feeling grounded. It was around this mark that I felt the song revealed a hidden, more authentic side of itself. The song then gets broken up by the effortless transition into some background beats, which helps the vocalist disclose more of an attitude.
By the time we reach the chorus, it feels like we have discovered a whole entire village that was on the other side of the mountain all along. With a heavy guitar riff and raw percussion, the song finally releases a fully amped sound as things were secretly building up to this moment. On a side note, I am very curious to discover how the percussion was recorded for this track, as you can really feel the striking power of the drums. Overall, the song comes full circle, and even the previous “oh” ’s that I originally deemed to sound cheesy begin to make more sense.
Cutting off our heavy instrument friends, the spotlight returns to the vocals, creating a “power in numbers” appeal as the vocalist is joined by a larger group which help to strengthen the songs message. While the song itself could potentially relay several different meanings depending on the interpreter, I really like the irony of being “in a bad place, looking for a good time”. I think we are prone to blame the imperfect circumstances and environment we are given for a lot of our internal struggles or lack of progress.
But the reality is that there will never be the perfect place or perfect time. The solution? Surrender to what is, show gratitude for what you do have, and practice creative solutions and being resourceful.
Afterall, it’s only a bad place if you deem it so.