The Hoa Hoa's (pronounced wah wahs)
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The Hoa Hoa's (pronounced wah wahs)


Band Pop Rock


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Canadian Music Week Event"

Not letting down the crowd, we wrapped up with Toronto's own The Hoa Hoa's. The always satisfying, post-psychedelic pop that this rad little band offers up seriously pleased the crowd. Picking up where Brian Jonestown Massacre, Sonic Youth and Spacemen 3 left off, The Hoa Hoa's could so be BFF's with Anton Newcombe and Jason Pierce. As three of the four band members interchanged vocal and instrumental responsibilities for each track, building upon each other's talent, it was clear they are one of the tightest, well-synchronized underground acts on the Toronto scene. Getting people dancing and even moshing thanks to their beautifully layered, supersonic psychedelic sound, the band wrapped up the live acts perfectly.

view the page, here:
- SoundProof

"The Hoa Hoa's @ Sneaky Dee's"

The quartet served up a set of thundering, thick and heavy shoe-gazey material to close out the live music portion of the evening.

The foursome cranked the reverb to 11 and never looked back. From vocals to guitars, the echo in Sneaky Dee's made the place feel like some interstellar cave instead of a beloved local watering hole.

Guitarist Richard Gibson played the entire show in a pair of bad-ass black plastic sunglasses. The too-cool-to-be-able-to-see in the cloistering darkness of Sneaky Dee's approach, combined with his floppy curls, made him look like he'd dressed up as Lou Reed for Halloween. That was somewhat apropos given The Hoa Hoa's music. (Note: he pulled it off amiably).

From the outset, the name of the game was volume and reverb, and both were doled out in equally healthy portions. Vocals were delivered in a near-monotone, which only amped up the austerity of the whole endeavour like a Stephin Merritt meets Ian Curtis sort of thing. The Hoa Hoa's songs swooned and swirled in a psychedlic fog of guitars and bass. Through it all, the band drew out the melody, which made for a set that was at once soothing and captivating while still driving with an unrelenting ferocity.

View the page, here: - Chart Attack

"The Hoa Hoa's - Sonic Bloom"

NOW Rating N N N N
Reader's Rating NNNNN
Disc Review

The first thing you should know about this local neo-psych four-piece is that their name is pronounced “wah-wahs.” Sonic Bloom, their second LP, is definitely a step up from their textured 2005 debut, Flower Flowers.

Still building off their 60s Manchester/Liverpool garage-wash base, the Hoa Hoa’s pay more attention to writing solid hooks like the Vines-ish guitar riff on Going Down, the up-tempo Landing On The Moon and the melodic, Brian Jonestown-inspired Lazy And High.

If you’re a fan of trippy soundscapes that sometimes blossom into euphoric moments, be sure to check the disc’s standout middle track, Out Of This World Man 3.

View the page, here: - NOW Magazine

"Sonic Bloom Review"

SOUNDS LIKE: Looking through a kaleidoscope and seeing The Smiths swaying in space.

WHY/WHY NOT: The Hoa Hoa's (pronounced Wa-Was), a foursome from Toronto , have already been called psychedelic, but I'm going to go a step further and say they are interstellar. So very rightly, they have unearthly tracks with titles like “Landing on the Moon,” “…Space,” and “Out of this World Space Man 3” on their 15-track debut.

Talented in a chilled-out galaxy, not a glammed-out Bowie one, the record showcases guitars in all their ambient glory and monochromatic male and female vocals (in a good Morrissey sort of way), slinging Sonic Bloom listeners into the best of reverbia. The journey begins with catchy “Yellow Jacket,” and from there the record casts a dreamy spell as most of the songs seem to have to do with what else but love.

At times, the band creates dream pop – a seemingly formless and improv-inspired genre – risking auditory disaster as untamed sound can quickly pan into either boredom or just plain noise. The Hoa Hoa's however, bolster their sound and hit the ethereal tone on the nail.

From “Side A” to “Side B” the record is a sophisticated mix. - SoundProof (Aug 20, 2008)

"The Hoa Hoa's Sonic Bloom"

If you spend as much time mining the Internet for new music as I do, then you’ve surely noticed that Canada’s Toronto is rapidly becoming the new capital city of the Psychedelic revival. It would be of no surprise to me should curious social historians later discover that the water had been peppered with hallucinogens, or that the mushrooms being sold in Toronto’s supermarkets were of the magic variety. Go have a listen yourself - band after band emerging into the light of a brand new day to blow your mind, and at the centre of it all the name “The Hoa Hoa’s” (pronounced Wah Wah’s) is a recurring motif. Recently signed to vibrant new independent label Optical Sounds (, you’d be forgiven for wondering whether this band are truly Torontonian by design, or in actual fact beaming back songs from a decompressed reverb chamber on the bright side of some strange undiscovered moon.

I’ve got to confess that I was rooting for this one even before The Hoa Hoa’s debut album “Sonic Bloom” fell through my letterbox and was rushed like I was a kid at Christmas straight into my hi-fi. The thing is that not only for the last year through snippets of songs I’ve heard here and there have I fallen head over heels for their unique sound, but I@ve also been fortunate enough to have exchanged sporadic emails and am as equally bitten by their attitude. Every message from Hoa Hoa HQ reads like some candy-coloured explosion of words and ideas swooping on a rollercoaster of enthusiasm for what they are doing, and where their music fits into the bigger picture. Now, where once talk of a magical European mystery tour sounded like the stuff of daydreams, over time they have been edging towards it as a reality with equal measures of gutsy determination and beatific grins. The attitude and the songs are one and the same thing - completely infectious. You don’t have to love a band to love the music they make, but likewise you can love a band but grimace uncontrollably (despite your best intentions) when their records play. So when this thing starts I’m doubting that I’ve ever wanted a record to be so good before.

Thankfully it’s not that good. It is fucking great and then some.

Anyone lucky enough to have heard The Hoa Hoa’s live recordings - or luckier still to be geographically within touching distance of their gigs - will not be disappointed. “Sonic Bloom” is alive with the same raw swagger - a head-melting concoction of elements like the swinging sixties, “Anemone” era Brian Jonestown Massacre, wall of reverberated production, pulsating waves of guitars, quirky keyboard riffs, great driving drums that underpin the whole thing, and a deadpan vocal delivery that grows and grows on you like some long lost friend. The resulting brew is a distinguished sound-flavour that swamps the record in their own colour of paint. If you’ve heard The Hoa Hoa’s once, then you’ll know it is them whenever you hear them again.

“Sonic Bloom” is a 15 track full-length debut brimming with gems of songs and would-be psych anthems, kicking off with the brilliant “Yellow Jacket” and rarely taking the foot off the gas from then on in. How can you help but smile at opening lines like “You’ve got a yellow jacket/but you’ve got nowhere to wear it” or the weary comical delivery of “It doesn’t make a bloody difference”. In fact, “Yellow Jacket” epitomises how I hear this band - first listen: pretty damn good; second listen: “oh yeah, actually this is fucking great…”; third listen and I’m unconsciously singing their tunes under my breath wherever I go for days.

So do you want to just go and buy this record now or are you going to make me list all my favourite tracks?

For those of you still reading I suppose let’s take the next logical step and go to track two - “The List” - a thumping VU White Light/White Heat-esque spin-off loaded with Joy Division guitars. The first time I heard this song I thought it was pretty fucking weird. A year later and either I’m getting weirder or my first impression was completely disorientated because “The List” is simply a great song, garage-rock, rolling, explosive, hinting at rebellious punk vibes bristling away below the surface. After “The List” and then the slightly slower paced “I Saw You”, is “Landing On The Moon” with its supercool battlecry of “How does it feel?” and sublimely frantic guitarwork. Together with the brilliant melodic “Lazy & High”, “Landing…” is my favourite of the tracks that I’ve not heard before. Elsewhere “Going Down” sounds like London in the groovy days of Jimi Hendrix but with darker drugs and a lot more reverb. Closing tracks “Circles” and “Happiness…” are fitting, slow sonic ballads to wind the journey down (”the best trip yet” as the band sing on the semi-acoustic tale of implied sexual innuendo that is “Bottles”). And finally of course there is “New Love II” - a shimmering psychedelic work of pure gold and coming together of all the aforementioned elements in one pr - Daydream Generation

"Flower Power"

Who: Femke Berkhout (pictured), musician; Lee Brochu, supply teacher and musician; Richard Gibson, musician; Tama, cat; and The Stones, fish (they had to replace their Brian after he “drowned” in the tank’s filter: true story).

What: A two-floor, three-bedroom apartment tucked behind the storefronts on busy Augusta Street in Kensington Market, where three-quarters of the band The Hoa Hoa’s have lived together since last fall. (Hoa, pronounced wah, is Vietnamese for flower — the band named themselves after a benevolent boss Brochu and Gibson once shared.)
The trio converted their living room into a rehearsal space and home-recording studio (they use the spare bedroom upstairs as their “Seinfeld room”) to save money and keep the band focused on producing new work. Berkhout and Brochu love the location — the couple have lived in the neighbourhood for seven years and their last place was just down the street — citing access to bakeries and The Cheese Shop for instant fresh breakfasts and bars like The Embassy and Ronnie’s Local for convenient socializing.

They also have an enviable private patio where the roommates often stay up late drinking beer and playing acoustic guitar with friends during the summer. According to Brochu, keeping the band under one roof works beautifully. “We live together, we hang out together, we party together and we play music together,” he says.


view online page, here: - Eye Weekly, Damian Rogers

"The Hoa Hoa... Sonic Bloom"

Toronto's psych rock scene is exploding like never before, as is
evidenced by the greatness of bands like Quest For Fire, The
Disraelis, Invasions and Golden Hands Before God ... What's really
great about all of those bands is the fact that I think the psychedelic
name tag best suits them all, but you would definitely never mistake
one for the other. The same can be said for The Hoa Hoa's
(pronouced wahwah's),
also from Toronto. The debut CD is entitled
Sonic Bloom, and all of the feelings that the album title conjures up
is exactly representative of the bands sound. Like The Disraelis, they
are signed to the Optical Sounds label, which clearly specializes in
linking the worlds of shoegaze and psychrock
together, and doing so
extremely successfully too, I might add. An example of the
convincing sound that they've created can be illustrated in the fact
that I had The List blaring from my stereo, and my wife asked if I
was listening to Joy Division. How many bands these days are trying
desperately to master that sound? And how many are actually
successful? Exactly. The Hoa Hoa's, on the other hand, have nailed
it. Their style never comes across forced, but comfortable; and the
vocals' near monotone presentation is one of confidence, not schtick.
Sonic Bloom offers forth a band that is destined for greatness,
although they sound as if they generally don't care. I wish I was that
naturally cool. - It's Not The Band I Hate, It's Their Fans:The Hoa Hoa...

"The Hoa Hoa’s -- Sonic Bloom"

By Eric Hill

Did you know there was a Kensington in the Greater London area of the UK?
Well, that’s not where Toronto’s Hoa Hoa’s (pronounced “wha whas”) are
from but Kensington M arket is a good stand in it seems. With an
anglophiliac flow that crosses swinging ’60s psychedelia with a tougher
shade of paisley, the group hit most of the right notes to shake the shag.
Even the recording’s slight fuzziness seems to support the group’s
kaleidoscopic credentials, reminding a little of Julian Cope’s early to
mid-’80s explorations of the same sound. Rumours of a more electrifying
live presence offset the slight lethargy of the album’s recordings. Ov erall,
for a backtrack in rock, it’s still a good track to be on. (Optical Sounds) - Exclaim Magazine

"LIVE The Hoa Hoa's"

Why do the Hoa Hoa's (pronounced Whaa-Whaa's) rock so damn much? Well, there are many reasons. For one, they're just all-around bad motherfuckers. They also know how to party like no one's business, and there's no bullshit with these guys either. But probably the most important reason is because they can take a totally lame event, like the Concord Café's "Live, Eh?" festival, and make it into some freaked-out happening.

They've just got this touch, like Midas, but instead of gold they turn things into day-glo and paisley-print dashikis. It's just magic. Like, it didn't matter that there were only about 20 people still kicking around the Concord by the time the Hoa Hoa's went on; it didn't even matter that the band before them, We Love, were totally pretentious and sucked worse than a fusion of goth and disco (which is exactly the kind of music We Love did — are you fucking kidding me? Ew). No, none of that mattered, because once the Hoa Hoa's turned on their omnipresent acid-oil light projector and unleashed their wall of fuzzy, psyched-out guitar madness, everything was just gravy.

It's the kind of music and vibe people get lost in, that makes them forget to show up for work the next morning. It's tsunamic, like a psychedelic tidal wave of tunes rushing in and blowing your mind. Sure, it might have taken them nearly 45 minutes to set up for the set, fiddling around with so many wires and amps and effects peddles that singer/guitarist Femke was getting shocked every time she came near the microphone, but, fuck, it was worth it. Playing at places like the Concord is a disservice to the Hoa Hoa's. They should be rocking the socks off mass audiences of stoned partiers at unmarked warehouses instead. Totally.

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- Soundproof Magazine - James Sandman

"NXNE: Friday Night Impressions"

**Band of the Night: the Hoa Hoa’s** These Toronto natives certainly represented for the hometown crowd. There music is a combination of groove and evil: you just want to dance and/or punch someone in the face. Their guitarist was great — loud, crunchy, articulate playing — and their bassist set her amp on fire. Major points for the predominance of hollow-bodied guitars.

View the page, here: - transcanadaradio


2008 = Sonic Bloom (Optical Sounds)
2009 COMING SOON = Pop/Drone/Pedals (Optical Sounds)



From Toronto's notoriously art-friendly Kensington Market, The Hoa Hoa's (pronounced wah wahs) have cemented themselves as one of Toronto best and most promising psych-pop acts.

Their debut album "Sonic Bloom" was released in July 2008 and solidified the band as a legitimate psych-pop force. Glowing reviews accompanied the ’08 release: ‘They have already been called psychedelic, but I’m going to go a step further and say they are interstellar” said SoundProof while NOW Magazine calls the album “one of T.O.’s best psych records of ‘08”. suggests that the band “really get the whole balance the Velvet Underground perfected. They mix the dirt of an overcrowded, unforgiving city with the infinite hope and beauty of the deepest reaches of outer space.”

With their 60s garage/psychedelic sound, The Hoa Hoa's are the crown jewel in the promising Optical Sounds label. They have become synonymous with a live act that get crowds dancing to their fuzzy, reverb heavy sets.

Also, note that their sophomore release – “Pop/Drone/Pedals” – will be out this summer.

For interviews, album review requests and press access to upcoming shows, please contact Optical Sounds at