I can't speak for everyone else but it's safe to say that I wasn't doing anything nearly as interesting as Hana Vu is doing when I was 17. Like most kids my age I wasted plenty of my free time playing in awful sounding garage bands that went nowhere and thankfully didn't have the means or motivation to make any proper recordings. Vu, however, has been making music for five years now and has put out several independent recordings including a collaboration with Willow Smith.

At 17, she's releasing her proper debut, How Many Times Have You Driven By, and it's hard to overstate just how good this record is. A self-taught singer, songwriter, and producer, it's very much the sound of a young artist with an already clearly mapped out vision who is coming into her own. Though one of many tags she uses to label her music with is "bedroom pop," (probably for the sake of convenience and also because she sometimes records in her bedroom) How Many Times Have You Driven By isn't exactly your average "bedroom" record.

Produced by Vu herself and boasting a lush and warm sound, it sets itself apart by striving to be something more ambitious and it shows in every little detail be it the sudden burst of bright brass soaring through breezy guitars on the gorgeous sway of '426' or the shimmering chords of 'Crying on the Subway'.

What stands out more than anything though is her voice. It can be a little startling at first because of how much of a presence it has. She has a powerful and emotionally piercing voice capable of cutting through the many layers to often devastating effect, like on '426' and 'Crying on the Subway' where her harmonies elevate feelings of longing in an almost overwhelming way. Equally startling is her maturity.

Her takes on navigating through relationships and the inevitable heartbreak that comes with them to our superficial perceptions are full of wisdom and often bruising observations, like on 'Crying on the Subway' where she sings about taking a painful ride on L.A.'s Metro Red Line as a way of putting literal distance between herself and fresh heartache (we've all taken that trip at least once, I know I have) to our own superficiality on 'Shallow.'

But her songs also benefit from that mature wisdom being filtered through the innocence and naivety of her youth which prevents them from coming off as bitter or cynical. It isn't a depressing experience though: for all of the introspection and melancholy, the music is surprisingly uplifting and even calming, like that one supportive friend who is always there and ready with levelheaded advice. Probably the most startling thing about it though is even though she's already been at this for five years, Hana Vu is just starting out, and knowing that makes the possibility of where she takes her music next all the more thrilling.