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The future of indie looks bright thanks to Say Ha! and their debut single, "I Don't Want to Die"

Updated: Sep 25, 2023

Genre: Indie Rock

“Take me out tonight, I don’t want to die.”

Modern indie rock music exists on a very wide spectrum; since its beginnings, new bands and artists have added their own twist to the ever-popular genre. But here we are in 2023, and indie rock is in need of a facelift to refresh this repetitive cycle of monotonous indie music.

Enter Southern California indie project Say Ha!: a promising new band that could help speak for Indie rock’s future.

Say Ha! is a much-needed fresh face in the local indie scene. The band is a new project for indie scene veteran Adrian Ceja, who was previously in the seasoned band The Extrangers. Say Ha! is Ceja’s solo project that he is taking on seemingly all by himself. Although the project consists of one member as of now, you can expect a full band and live performances in the future.

Say Ha!’s debut single, “I Don’t Want To Die”, incorporates elements frequently used by indie groups of the past: distorted vocals, warped guitar lines, and overall melancholy lyrical themes. Say Ha! adds to these established indie qualities by fusing them with lighter reggae-esque upstrokes and drum beats. There are various ambient synth parts sprinkled throughout the song that aren’t featured too heavily, but they help give the song a more cohesive emotional feeling. The overall effect is definitely ear-catching: a vibrant combination of dark and light tones that are intriguing and keep you listening.

The punchy bass and drums are juxtaposed with the garage rock edge of the vocals and guitar. The rhythm section is tight and creates a head-bobbing groove underneath the otherwise heavy distortion of the other instruments. There is an intentional looseness to the production, leaving the listener feeling relaxed and immersed in each tonal quality. The mix brings to mind the laid-back feeling of the 60s garage rock band The Seeds, combined with the influence of a sharp rhythm section like that of The Smiths.

Looking beyond the lighter and more atmospheric qualities of the music, you notice the words are dark and dismal. The lyrics, although explicitly darker in nature, are still vague and

mysterious enough to be open to the interpretation of each individual. Ceja’s reserved singing and distorted vocal tracks are stylistically reminiscent of The Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas.

The strongest feeling I had after listening to the track was that it was created by someone who truly loves all kinds of music. “I Don’t Want To Die” is the perfect song for those who feel the same. The wide variety of sonic influences brings to mind so many diverse artists and genres, which is always something exciting for music lovers to hear. The deep love for music translates very well in Say Ha!’s style. I’m truly looking forward to seeing where Say Ha! goes. With any luck, we will be getting more music and live shows in the near future.

Be sure to check out Say Ha! and stream their debut single, "I Don't Want to Die" everywhere you listen to music!

For Fans of:

The Strokes

The Smiths

The Exstrangers

Stream "I Don't Want to Die" on Spotify:

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