VMAN Premiere: HAUX Releases New Track “Accidents”

With his new track out on Friday and an album coming next month, VMAN caught up with the alternative-indie artist HAUX to talk about his musical influences, childhood memories, and working with Kygo.

Hailing from rural Massachusetts is Woodson Black, otherwise known as HAUX while creating For Emma, Forever Ago (Bon Iver)-esque, alternative-indie music. HAUX tends to wear his heart on his sleeve within his tracks, taking his introspection and turning it inside out for lyrics that are personal and a reflection of his mind, feelings, and memories.

HAUX’s first two EPs, All We’ve Known from 2016 and 2018’s Something to Remember, put him on the map through critical acclaim. After a fair amount of tumult in his personal life since his last EPs, HAUX is returning, having recently dropped a track with Kygo titled “Only Us” as well as “Heavy” and “Calico” from his forthcoming album Violence In A Quiet Mind, due out July 17th via Ultra Records. On Friday the third single from the album will arrive, titled “Accidents”.

Head below for an exclusive and early listen of the track, along with VMAN and HAUX’s talk about “Accidents”, Violence In A Quiet Mind, what it was like working with world renown Norwegian DJ Kygo, and more.

VMAN With “Accidents” releasing this week, what were some inspirations for the sounds and lyrics heard in the track?

HAUX I don’t have tons of specific memories from childhood to be honest. It’s strange… they’re all fragmented and out of focus. I think this has to do partly with my terrible memory and also partly due to the long history of alcoholism in my family. The way I dealt with the harder nights I experienced growing up was to simply forget them. It was a coping mechanism that allowed me to feel okay at the time but now when I reflect on my childhood there are gaps and a lot of the details are missing.  

“Accidents” is one memory that remained; driving with one of my crushes, in the back of my mom’s ex-boyfriend’s car while he was pretty buzzed, wondering if we crashed, would it actually be worse than how we were feeling at the time (being 13 or 14 years old). It’s messed up but sometimes when you’re dealing with someone struggling with addiction you kind of welcome rock bottom because then at least something might change. 

It takes a lot of energy to sift through the past. I feel like this album has allowed me to retell my childhood with all the parts I chose to forget back then. It’s scary to know that the way I cope with difficult times is to forget them. I guess part of growing up is shedding those old coping habits and learning that remembering is actually ok, that it’s healthy. 

VMAN Who and what are some of your other musical influences?

HAUX In my late teens I was introduced to Nick Drake and Jose Gonzales at the same time. I had a classical guitar at the time and just fell in love with the way those records sounded. Sparse yet atmospheric and romantic too. That was a huge inspiration for Violence In A Quiet Mind

VMAN Can you tell me more about the recent track you just released in collaboration with Kygo? What did you enjoy most about working with him?

HAUX Honestly he’s just a really nice guy. He sent me a DM last year saying that he really liked my music and that it would be cool to make something together. I ended up writing “Only Us”, the structure and a good portion of the lyrics, that same night. I felt like if Kygo’s gonna ask me to collaborate then I have to send him something ASAP. About a year later he sent me another DM and said he wanted it on his album. I welcome DMs from Kygo at this point, they’re usually good news. But honestly he and his team made the collaboration, they’re really good people. 

VMAN You have an upcoming album titled Violence In A Quiet Mind; what’re you most looking forward to upon its release? What were some factors that drove your lyrics and writing process for the album?

HAUX This album means so much to me. It’s incredibly personal—it’s the first time I’ve taken ownership of the stories I’m telling in the songs. I feel vulnerable talking about the addiction in my family and how it hurt me as a kid but I’ve been able to finally outgrow the hurt. 

I’ve held onto these feelings and stories for so many years. I felt strangely protective of them as if the pain I experienced through my aunt’s deaths made me who I am and that by sharing their stories I’d somehow lose them. But in lots of ways, I just feel closer to them now actually. 

At the end of the day, I hope these songs give people a little window into their own past, not to change anything, but maybe to let go and be less hard on themselves. 

VMAN Do you have anything else lined up for the rest of 2020 in terms of your music?

HAUX I’m deep into writing for the next album now. I’m not writing songs about the past and being a kid as much anymore which is actually super refreshing. I’m writing in the present tense now which feels really good and healthy.

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