Luke Aaron Jones and fellow Dreamers of the Ghetto alum Marty Sprowles picked up the pieces and pared down the widescreen-sized rock of their previous project to the more intimate, introspective Hunterchild. Jones’ vocals are more arresting than ever, indebted as much to vintage Peter Gabriel, Prince and Depeche Mode as the rich well of electronic R&B explorations from a similar orbit as James Blake and The Weeknd in their most powerful moments. Hunterchild are comfortable in their own skin in a way that’s almost unheard of for debut artists. Co-produced with Kevin Ratterman (My Morning Jacket, Wax Fang), the album features beat-heavy sexploits and stark falsetto professions throughout 11 tracks.
Hunterchild’s debut self-titled album was released today (May 13) via Temporary Residence Ltd.
First track So Bad has a relaxing beat mixed with deep bassy tones. It’s a slightly dark yet soothing song. The vocals are more rock than R&B showing off Jones’ husky voice. His voice sounds particularly sexy when he holds the notes on, “I want you babe”.
After this cracking first track, some of the other songs start to let this promising album down. Part Time and Work You are the least favourite songs. Part Time sounds like a reject Another Level song, “Wanna know/I don’t care where you are/I don’t care who you’re with/I don’t care what you did…You ain’t mine girl/I just want some of your time girl…I can keep a secret babe” while Work You’s lyrics are incredibly cringe-worthy, “I can be there and become a freak/I can be there be whatever you need/I can come there be your fantasy”. Both of these songs are too generic; the lyrics are too sexual making these tracks sound like typical pop rubbish.
Things start to look up with Alone. Alone is dramatic featuring electronic synths taking inspiration from the 80s pop scene. The vocals are once again scratchy and harsh giving it that seductive quality. The guitar riff has elements of funk in it. Alone is a cleverly crafted song blending 80s synth influences with power rock vocals and lounge style. The lyrics, “I don’t regret anything lost/I’m not afraid of the pain it caused…choosen the path you must walk alone/Alone” are beautiful.
Secret Messages is a contrast to the other overtly sexual tracks on the record. It’s a very sweet and romantic song. It takes the record back to the chilled out R&B which was heard on Hunterchild’s previous single release, Aching. Secret Messages has a slow, gentle drum beat and soulful soft vocals slowing the record down for its finish.
Previous single releases Aching and Time Travelling Lover both appear on the record.
Hunterchild’s debut album is available now.