The full-length debut from HUNNY, Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. is an endless back-and-forth between heavy-hearted lyrics and bright-and-shiny melodies, lovesick confession and addictively dancey rhythms. With the album centered on a narrative Yarger sums up as “I love you and I want to die,” the Woodland Hills, California-bred band wrote most of the songs on acoustic guitar, deliberately channeling a raw vulnerability into every line. But despite that moody intensity, Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. embodies the wildly frenetic energy of HUNNY’s live show, a happily chaotic free-for-all they’ve previously brought to the stage in touring with bands like The Neighbourhood and Beach Slang.
Produced by Grammy Award-winner Carlos de la Garza (Cherry Glazerr, Culture Abuse, Paramore), Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. came to life in November 2018, the same time as the Woolsey Fire and Camp Fire that devastated 96,949 acres of land in Southern California. At one point, fire fighters were in Grimmett’s backyard stopping the wild fire from encroaching onto the property, while the band was inside demoing and writing. “They blocked off all the streets and we had to sneak into my place through this apartment structure,” Grimmett recalls. “Thankfully my house is still standing and the hills are a bright green.”
In working with de la Garza, HUNNY spent weeks in the studio and embraced their experimental side more fully than ever before. “There was a lot of rabbit-holing and taking our time to find different sounds, especially with the keyboard parts and the synths,” says Yarger, naming classic synth-pop bands like Depeche Mode among HUNNY’s main inspirations.
With its fantastically unpredictable sonic palette, Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. opens on “Lula I’m Not Mad”—a bouncy pop track that matches its shimmery synth lines with hopelessly crushed-out lyrics. “It’s about when you’re infatuated with someone, so you just let them do whatever they want to you,” says Yarger. On “Saturday Night,” HUNNY slip into a more melancholy but still-romantic mood, embedding their storytelling with references to My So-Called Life and Echo & the Bunnymen. “It’s mostly about being emo in your bedroom on a weekend night, but being able to share that with somebody else,” says Grimmett. And on the sweetly self-effacing “Halloween,” Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. closes out by drawing some strangely affecting poetry from the mundane experience of paying a parking ticket online. “I was sitting on the floor in my apartment and working on this demo, and I decided to be super-literal about what was happening in the moment,” says Yarger. “It all goes back to trying to be more vulnerable on this album, and just putting whatever we’re feeling right into the lyrics.”
Formed in 2014, HUNNY came up at the same time as various contemporary musicians, skaters, video directors, and other creatives from the same neighborhood. “There was a house in the Valley that we used to go to parties at, and we all ended up meeting there and eventually playing together,” says Grimmett. After playing their first gig in a garage, HUNNY delivered their debut single “Cry for Me” in January 2015, then self-released the Windows I EP in May 2017. Soon after signing to Epitaph, HUNNY put out their 2018 sophomore EP Windows II, and quickly got to work on their first full-length.
As they immersed themselves in writing for Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes., HUNNY purposely strayed from their punk roots (“I definitely went through a phrase of being a weird little crust-punk kid,” Yarger points out), and dug deeper into their love for ’80s new wave and ’90s pop. In that process, the band ultimately instilled a whole new sense of immediacy into their music. “We started to be less ethereal and cryptic, and focused on writing songs that people could really latch onto,” says Grimmett.
Another key aspect of HUNNY’s newly revitalized sound: the hugely catchy choruses found in each song on Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. As Grimmett explains, the band introduced that element with their ever-communal live show in mind. “We really love the emotive aspect of playing a show,” says Grimmett. “The kids are always moshing and stage-diving and crowd-surfing, but they’re also singing our songs back to us the whole time. For this record we really took the time to think about what we were going to give them to sing, and made sure that it’s something with real feeling and meaning to it.”