Hunt No Further
An Indie-folk band hailing from Virginia, The Hunts comprises seven Js: twin sisters Jenni and Jessi and their brothers Josh, Jonathan, Jordan, Justin and Jamison. Amazingly these seven siblings managed to cooperate long enough to write and perform every track on their debut full-length release, Those Younger Days. With an instrumentation suggesting folk and an injection of some pop catchiness, Hunt no further for a great summer (and year round) album.
The Hunts have a distinct refreshing sound; the timbre is bright. Whether it’s the ukulele, mandolin, guitar, strings, piano or banjo, the resulting sound is both uniform throughout but layered and varied in construction to maintain individuality on every song. The lead male vocals (Josh) are frequently supplemented with a lead female voice (Jenni), and various vocal harmonies, including choruses of non-verbal ‘ohs’ featured on several songs.
Most tunes are similar in tempo, but varied instrumentation prevents the record from becoming monotonous, expertly transforming the mood from a gentle rollicking on tunes like “Just For Awhile” or the happy-go-lucky flare but more serious lyrics on “Valentina.” Undulating and complexly layered instruments underneath provide a driving rhythm with sometimes sparse drums. Often the meter of the song is obscured, as in “This Is Love,” also showcasing the Hunts’ classical training. Brilliant musicianship all around, the Hunt’s intricate musical fingerprint is easy to discern.
The track to keep on repeat is “Ages.” It starts simple enough with lyrics, “We’d search for ages but when did we get so old? Our feet on the pavement are growing cold,” and a Hunt signature (guitar) ostinato underpinning the intro. It quickly turns into a duet with a mention of “pilgrims,” and suddenly a full monty of guitar, banjo, strings and drums blow the lid off the tune. In many ways it’s reminiscent of Mumford & Sons’ “I Will Wait,” certainly in energy level. Enter the piano later, punctuated rhythm hits, vocals backed only by clapping on 2 and 4, and the result is a toe-tapping barn-burner that is just as satisfying on the 30th listen as the first.
Certainly listeners will have their favorites on Those Younger Days, but the cumulative writing and musical talent of the Hunt clan yields a win on every track. Full of driving tunes, The Hunts perform the kind of music that seeps into the pores and lifts the spirit every time it’s heard. And they’ve got a distinct, individual sound. Those Younger Days fills a musical void you may not know you had.