On October 15, 2021, genre-blurring artist Haynza released a new single, "Thief In The Night." This is Haynza's first release of 2021, as well as the single single to follow up his 2019 album The Fall To Grace.
While the song is an amalgamation of pop, hip-hop, R&B, and traditional singer-songwriter influences, the various elements of these genres are combined in unexpected ways. The opening synths and vocal hooks seem to promise a much darker and high-intensity track, but a sudden transition to tremolo-laden keyboards immediately jolts the track into subtler territory. Then this shift is re-contextualized again by the introduction of a mix of trap & EDM percussion, which, along with a sub-heavy bass line, underscore the catchy chorus hook.
While this description may make it seem like the song is a disconnected mess, it actually serves the lyrical theme. Haynza's first line in the second verse may initially sound like the most anti-party sentiment possible: "People get drunk in the night but we gon' stay sober." Far from advocating prudishness, the juxtaposition of a principled line like that over an energetic song seems to subtly suggest the need for energetic motivation in a more constructive direction. There is a different kind of party to which Haynza is inviting his listeners.
The song takes another unexpected turn around the bridge, with both a sudden key change and an un-announced switch to pure piano ballad. There is also simultaneously a thematic switch. Where the first half of the song dealt with thief imagery surrounding the return of Jesus as a thief in the night, the second half of the song positions the singer as the thief on the cross, having his proverbial "come to Jesus moment." The over-arching theme typing both parts of the song together are final moments and endings - both of the world (at the second coming) and of an individual life - and the existential value of sober self-awareness in the face of those endings.
Haynza has consistently refused to be pigeonholed as an artist, and this release continues that trend. We have little from him in terms of announcements of future plans, but it seems for now that this Aussie still has creative energy flowing. Make sure to check out the new single, as well as our interview with him about his album.
More about Haynza
Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Genre: Alternative-Indie / Hip-Hop / Pop-R&B