Arts and Entertainment

Hana Eid: Poised Between an Anarchic Youth and Full-Fledged Adulthood

The Nashville singer-songwriter’s debut EP, I Exist Because You Say So, is a raw—and largely triumphant—foray into the Indie Rock scene.

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Hana Eid may just be another starry-eyed, 20-something singer-songwriter trying to carve a niche for herself in Nashville’s music scene. But, remarkably, it’s working; from hit singles like “Dancing to The Smiths” to appearances in Atwood Magazine and Spotify’s New Music Friday, Eid is gaining traction in the world of Indie Rock. Combining gritty, textured production with witty lyrics and raw vocals, Eid’s sound is reminiscent of Clairo, Phoebe Bridgers, and Cece Coakley. Eid’s debut EP, I Exist Because You Say So, explores the contradictions of coming-of-age, ruminating on past heartbreaks with an achy yearning deeply imbued in each track. 

I Exist Because You Say So finds Eid at a transitional phase in her life, poised between her anarchic teenage years and the overwhelming responsibilities of full-fledged adulthood. In an interview with Atwood Magazine, Eid stated, “It feels [...] indicative of a very finite and precious time in my life. While the project isn’t conceptual per se, it’s all tied together by the same longing that seems characteristic of entering adulthood.” Across the EP, Eid grapples with recognizing her immaturity and inexperience while also learning to trust her gut as she falls in and out of love. 

From the very first track, “Weird,” these themes of personal growth are undeniably prevalent, accentuated by Eid’s knack for memorable writing: “Filling the gaps in conversation / With a smoke / And screaming for the love of God / I want it so bad.” From pining for an out-of-her-league crush on “Taller Than Me” to mourning unrequited love on “Between Your Teeth” and “Pitbull,” Eid conveys the universal truth of first relationships: they’re messy, they hurt like hell, and they elicit a fierce and unparalleled passion typical of immaturity. Though Eid fluctuates between moments of self-consciousness and security in her relationships, she ultimately concludes that she shouldn’t apologize for her feelings; she recognizes the beauty in feeling strongly and transforms it into a respectable first effort. 

While these themes aren’t particularly unique, Eid and producer Tone Def create an overwhelming sense of nostalgia by capitalizing on Gen-Z’s romanticization of all things vintage. The EP deftly blends classic rock influences like Led Zeppelin and Rush with inspiration from modern industry heavyweights like Beabadoobee and Lucy Dacus; it draws on the former for much of its foundational soundscape and leans on the latter for lyricism and storytelling. Nonetheless, Eid’s vocals remain distinctly reminiscent of the female-led ‘00s alternative rock scene, heavily influenced by artists like Avril Lavigne and Hayley Williams of Paramore. Against a storm of thunderous drums, bass, and guitar, Eid’s vocals maintain a delicate femininity and fragility that juxtaposes the quiet power of the EP’s angsty, over-the-top production.

Sonically wise beyond her years, Eid captures the foot-stomping fury and heart-pounding unpredictability of adolescence, composing soaring choruses with stinging lyrics against commanding percussion. Her ability to write memorable hooks shines especially brightly on “Pitbull,” the fourth track: “It makes me feel small / I wanted to bite my tongue off when I heard / That you think I talk too much about him / But you’re always thinking about her.” Eid’s hyperfocus on lyricism allows her to reinvent the overused trope of teenage angst that has characterized rock for decades, putting a genre-straddling, time-spanning spin on tired subject matter. 

Despite the success of abrasive, percussion-heavy production on such tracks, Eid’s reliance on her Indie Rock sound prevents her from showcasing the full extent of her vocal range, causing her voice to occasionally slip into the background on multiple songs. This recurring issue is corrected on I Exist Because You Say So’s final track, “Austin Song,” a lullaby-esque ballad about the “right person, wrong time” love trope set against a backdrop of soft acoustic guitar. In an interview with Atwood Magazine, Eid explained, “I feel like it encapsulates so well the feeling of wanting to know someone deeply, regardless of romantic implications.” The song’s more refined production highlights the controlled trills and raspy yearning in Eid’s voice, creating an emotional depth absent from the EP’s rock songs. 

Ultimately, I Exist Because You Say So’s overenthusiastic, rock-heavy sound only adds to its charm; by accentuating its own imperfections, arrogance, and unapologetic drama, it honors Eid’s commitment to accurately representing the chaos of real life. “The whole point, to me, is to make somebody feel seen,” Eid said to Atwood Magazine. “It feels like a very honest reflection of myself at one time or another, which is all I could strive for.” Eid’s capacity for thoughtful contemplation and self-depreciative tendencies on I Exist Because You Say So results in an EP that sounds like a stream of consciousness in the diary of a hopeless romantic. As she tries—and fails—to tame her overwhelming emotions across the EP, listeners embrace the uniform embarrassment of surrendering to the currents of love, just like Eid.