Music / Premieres
The Hunter Express - A State Of Longing
Words by James Lynch
Friday 3rd June, 2022
Today we have the pleasure of premiering the new album A State Of Longing from local group The Hunter Express, a collection of psychedelic-soaked indie-folk that catches the project venturing into its most poignant and penetrating sounds yet.
It’s nearly been two years since The Hunter Express began the steady dripfeed of what would eventually become their third album A State Of Longing. Recorded back in 2019 by project mastermind Brad Ellis alongside producer Robert Muinos, the release was understandably slowed thanks to you-know-what, but fortunately the final result feels all the more compelling for it. Out of the haze of lockdown, A State Of Longing feels even more intriguing and dreamlike, not buoyed by the lethargy of our lives but instead anchored by a timelessness that’s embedded within each of the crafty folk tunes.

While sticking true to the sounds conjured on the previous two Hunter Express records, A State Of Longing is quick to reveal the burgeoning scope of this album, particular in its opening two tracks. First up ‘I’ve Always Had My Doubts About You’ blossoms open expansively, leaning into an enthralling and wistful blend of glowing synths, gentle keys and tinkling guitar that avoids growing too elaborate across its slowburning runtime. Next up, ‘Paranoid’ is a change of pace that showcases Ellis’ classic rock backbone, a rolling tune that blurs together fiery guitar leads with free-flowing chords and Ellis’ tender, vulnerable vocals.

From here on in, these two worlds continually collide - ‘There Was Love’ is simultaneously intangible and visceral, with its ethereal instrumentation tangling with straight-to-the-point hooks, ‘A Mess In My Mind’ constantly ebbs and flows beneath its sturdy folk-rock stomp, and the title track is perhaps one of the grooviest things we’ve heard from The Hunter Express, sounding equally soulful and enigmatic at once.

With grief a constant touchstone across the record, following the lose of Ellis’ father in 2017, this upheaval finally compounds on closing track ‘What Would I Do Without You’, the album’s most striking moment that rounds out the somewhat sedated listen in a truly volatile way. It also reveals what might be Ellis’ greatest strength as a songwriter; his ability to weigh down his songs with emotion, yet so purposefully opt for when he wants that to come across as a reaffirming hug or a punch in the guts.

A State Of Longing is out everywhere today.