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When Hannah Judge sings “I went to bed and didn’t get out for ten months,” she isn’t kidding.
Three days after releasing breakthrough track, “Car Crash in G Major, “Judge, who makes punchy, idiosyncratic bedroom pop under the moniker fanclubwallet, suffered a Crohn’s disease flare up, sending the Ottawa-based artist into hospital and ultimately leaving her bedridden in her childhood home.
Yet far from letting her disability leave her inert, Judge met the moment by creating fanclubwallet’s charming, delightfully DIY debut EP, Hurt is Boring.
Crafted between hospital visits by Judge and her producer/gradeschool bestie, Michael Watson, Hurt is Boring perfectly captures the innate balance of our stunted reality by tackling big feelings through the lens of emotional distance.
“It’s about taking the good with the bad,” Judge, whose illness is now in remission, explains. “You can’t really appreciate one without the other.”
Opening with the aforementioned “Car Crash in G Major,” a jaunty, metaphorical take on the final weeks of a doomed relationship which already boasts over 1.5 million streams on Spotify, the EP includes five new, yet equally indie-darling-soundtrack ready tracks. Throughout, Judge offers catchy, fresh takes on life’s melodramatic moments, a style she winkingly describes as “writing emo shit that doesn’t sound emo.”
For a case-in-point, look no further than the plaintive power-pop of lead single, “C’mon Be Cool,” which perfectly sums up the feeling of moving beyond a moment when your friends are stuck in the past.
“I feel like a lot of people might have felt this way during the pandemic,” Judge says of the song’s theme. “You’re isolated, your life has changed so much in a year, and you realize that maybe everyone else’s lives have not changed in the same manner.”
Named in honor of a Dennis the Menace wallet that belonged to her father, fanclubwallet began as a catch-all for Judge’s lo-fi musical musings, created using children’s keyboards in an effort to directly conjure her intended sound in as uncomplicated a manner as possible.
In early 2020, a well-received cover of The Talking Head’s “This Must Be the Place,” gave Judge the confidence to release a steady stream of singles. With each successive track, fanclubwallet carefully carved out a dedicated following (including super agent Tom Windish, who asked to manage the up and coming act) while finding placement on such esteemed playlists as Spotify’s New Music Friday and Lorem.
With Hurt is Boring, fanclubwallet is set to charm a generation that’s been stuck at home, evaluating old relationships and generally being bored of being bored.
As Judge sagely points out on the EP’s titular closing track, “Hurt is boring, but so is happiness. And I think that I like one more than the other.”