As she makes her debut at Floyd on Friday, May 27, she will have to balance her high-octane, comically fast track selection with the slower, effervescent deep cuts from her upcoming debut album, Baby, We’re Ascending.
“I think I started playing faster over the years,” Throssell tells New Times. “When I started, it was still heavy but more chuggy. Over time, it came a bit to my own; as I emerged in techno and dance music, the tempo caught up with me.”
HAAi’s musical endeavors began in Australia’s psychedelic rock scene before moving to London in 2011 as part of the duo Dark Bells. Finally, it took one trip to Berlin’s legendary club Berghain, the sinister music of Ben Klock, and a laptop with Logic Pro to push Throssell into electronic music.
“It was really welcoming because it felt like I had come from nowhere,” says Throssell on the shift from psych-rock to electronic music. “I came from guitars, but I was nervous that I didn’t have 20 years of experience in trance, for example, but I felt like I could bring something.”
Throssell sits comfortably in a fast-paced lane but with a weirdness via wonky samples and ghostly rhythms. It’s euphoric-building, stripped-down, and love-enhancing, which makes HAAi not just for the perpetually dark warehouse but also for Floyd’s velvet curtains.
“I’m just going to bring a bit of myself. Usually, I go into a new space with an open mind, but now I’m playing pretty tough, very energetic,” she warns. “I feel like my sets are dynamic and bass-heavy. I hope people are ready to go in.
Throssell’s Miami show coincides with the release of her highly anticipated debut album, Baby, We’re Ascending, a collaborative effort made during the height of lockdown and which merges Throssell’s production and dreamy vocal work.
“The stuff I was making was driven towards that — trying to make people feel something. Whereas here, that just wasn’t available, and it was too heartbreaking to try to make that sound,” she says. “I guess it was more of a reflective way of writing. In many ways, it was functional. I wanted to make something more of a focused listen.”
With four tracks on the album coproduced with friends, Throssell credits the project’s completion to letting in different voices instead of isolating it to her own ambitions. Baby, We’re Ascending‘s 13 tracks showcase HAAi’s incredible ability to juxtapose speedy and hectic sounds with soothing, left-field electronica.
“It was really special because it was something I’ve never done before because I was protective of being the only person who could touch a song,” Throssell explains. “I value I got to bring friends into my creative sphere, and the whole album-making process was such a joy because so many different people were involved.”
The album’s title track was made in collaboration with British musician Jon Hopkin, who brings an ethereal touch while also demonstrating HAAi’s affection for the gentle textures. Overall, the song harkens to early-2000s Télépopmusik.
“Everything happened really organically,” she says. “I was working on the track that would become “Baby, We’re Ascending,” and I was in a bit of a funk with it. I knew there was something special there, and I thought for a few times asking Jon for advice.”
Throssell posted the music on her Instagram, which caught Hopkins’ attention.
“I told him the whole story, and he said, ‘Send it to me. I’ll have a listen,'” she remembers. “He loved it. It was one of the first…