Under Review

Under Review: Little Trophy, Hyaenas

Angus Nordlund

A new band is on the block in BC and is making their voice heard. With their debut EP, Little Trophy, Hyaenas inspires listeners to get back on their feet, resist oppression, and fight for who and what they love. Some might argue that a band should try to quietly get on their feet before rattling off something so profound. But Hyaenas are sick and tired of listening to the rules. An album cover with graffiti, mannequins, and machinery? Songs from a queer feminist lens? It’s clear we should be listening to this instead. 


Oh, No (Intro)

This opening track serves as a quick introduction to the overall message of the album. The few lyrics are the chorus for the next track, “Little Trophy.” What makes it so heart wrenching is how quietly they are spoken, as if lead vocalist, Sophie Heppel, is mimicking someone desperately trying to find their voice after being beaten down for so long. Solemn guitar strings tie it together like a mangled bow before we are introduced to the next track.

Little Trophy

It all starts here. “I’m not your little trophy / I’m not your prize to be won.” Echoes from the intro start us off on our journey through this EP with a declaration of self-worth. And trust me, those aren’t the only ones. By the time you get to the end, you realize who you heard in the last track is not the same person. They are now reborn and here to let their voice shine loud and proud. Let’s continue, shall we? Believe it or not, there’s much more in store. 

For the Birds

A sonorous war cry of a track that echoes themes of standing up for those in need. If you don’t believe me, just listen to the drums at 1:00 and tell me that isn’t a beat you would go to battle for. The track’s rebellious nature becomes transparent when you hear, “Can you hear the blackbird singing? / In the dead of night it’s bringing a call for all who’ve survived.” More bird references show up later, with vivid lines like, “You hang us all like crows on a wire.” It gives you the sense that something is at stake and that there’s no question it’s worth fighting for.

It’s Not Up to Me

It’s time to pick up the pace! This track starts like your classic indie rock song — fast, catchy, and a head bopper. It reminds me of Good Kid, who has a similar approach to their music. Complimenting this speed is the line “Not gonna stop and freeze” and “It’s going now.” However, Hyaenas aren’t afraid to slow down the pace partway through to let their message sink in. If you’re wondering what exactly that message is, I guess you’ll just have to go and listen for yourself. 

Another Level

Hyaenas really dig into their rock side here. Opening with heavy drums and claps, a guitar-synth combo comes out of left field with shades of Joan Jett and Hall and Oates respectively. It might sound jarring, but they go together like peanut butter and jelly. Speaking of things you can put on toast, “You take my time you take my money / Lure me in with your milk and honey” is one of the best pairs of lyrics in this EP. And if you’re worried that this isn’t as hardcore as you’d like, “Deal with God, deal with the Devil / Take it up another level” should do the trick. 

White Rabbit

By far my favourite track on this EP. “White Rabbit” razes the air with electric guitar sounds while delivering a message that will pick up any person from their lowest point like a phoenix rising from the ashes. The lyrics are equally powerful and give me goosebumps. Every. Single. Time. If I’m ever feeling down or demotivated, I pop in my headphones and let this track boost my morale with words like, “So don’t go chasing rabbits chase your dreams.” It’s also a great track to add to your gym playlist. 

Written in the Stars

The best way to sum up this final track is farewell. “It was written in the stars / Oh, that we have far to go,” tells you that your journey ain’t over yet. You have places to go and you will go far for them. “Look up and find what’s been outlined,” sounds like a way of saying you are destined for greatness. The contrast between this inspiring message and the rest of the EP makes you feel like all the trials and tribulations have been overcome and that it is now time to move on to better things. Sorry if I’m starting to sound like a frantically typed English essay, but it’s just that moving! Lyrics aside, the synth is what hits the emotional beats the best. Luvia Peterson’s work throughout the EP has been incredible and she does it again at 4:10. In the final moments, she transports you to the top of a mountain as you watch the sun rise over a big blue ocean. What awaits you next? 


A new year can be filled with challenges. We may be four months in already, but it’s never too late to pick up the pieces and persevere through what life throws at us. Hyaenas are here to show you that you are a beast who is not to be trifled with. So take their hand and join them on this journey of self-empowerment.