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What Makes HNTD a ‘Mannequin’?

HNTD (Haunted) is alternative rocker Sean deLeon coming to us from Southern California, providing our earholes with guitar-driven rock songs, influenced by fellow California natives Blink 182 and Green Day.

I don’t think I’m the only one welcoming the spring season with a bear hug and giant rainbow welcome mat purchased from Ikea. Collectively, I think we are all excited about the transition this time of year provides us, whether we are ready for it or not. Everything around us — the newly formed buds on the trees, a sun that sets later than the usual, and beautiful, flowing textiles on almost every human you see — indicates that we are being thrown into a new quarter of the year, and we better welcome it with open arms.

I am only here to help. And, while I have no tips on how to engage in the Cocaine Bear conversation that will most likely infiltrate every backyard barbecue you’ll attend, I am here to fatten your collection of springtime hits.

First up on our “Cruising Down Main Street, After Ordering a Monster-Sized Smoothie” playlist is our new favorite breakup single of the season, the recently released “Mannequin” by HNTD. From the new EP, Imprimatur (released March 1), this catchy, air-drum worthy tune echoes uncomfortable recollection of a relationship where he was disassociated, providing his partner a heartbreak. As he describes in an upbeat verse…

There was no light behind these eyes

You were never getting in

I was careless, turning heartless

Felt so cold touching my skin

Becoming more unreal

The transformation would begin

‘Cause I’m your mannequin

I think the majority of us have been on at least one side of the anxious attachment cycle. Having been on the receiving end of the situation, Sean was able to put into a catchy pop song that’s sure to have you singing along (while you simultaneously think about the one who put you through the bullshit). Eventually, it might just lead you to the realization that it doesn’t matter how well you play your cards; you can’t stop someone from losing their feelings for you.

I need to take a moment and appreciate this song for describing what the heartbreaking, but necessary accountability process should look like. It isn’t easy to find someone that feels like home, but when they come around, this common attachment style manifests in the ways HNTD so perfectly describes.

While many poppy songs tell a story of being heartbroken a la Taylor Swift’s Red era, this artist presents himself as the cold, lackluster, disassociated lover who becomes unrecognizable to his partner. Where he was once there for her in a time of sadness and uncertainty, not only is he unable to be that pillar anymore — he absolutely refuses.

I respect the guts it takes to admit wholeheartedly that she was never getting in; to admit that it was all an illusory experience, and she’d be best to understand that he is incapable of truly being the version of himself he so convincingly portrayed.

I have to hand it to you, Sean. You’ve given me and so many the anthem to a familiar experience that happens far too often.

Let this be a service announcement to put self-care first, and dance to HNTD’sMannequin,” while we understand that the core memories we have of a person are sometimes just a mirage.

Check out HNTD’s Youtube for other songs off his EP.
Follow HNTD’s instagram for updates on upcoming dates and releases.



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