BEACH HOUSE: Albert Hall, Manchester. 19th October 2018.

20 10 2018

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We all have a band that we adore seeing live. A band that when we see them, just makes everything better. It gives you this sense of belonging, and finding “home.” Live music is so powerful, and when it is one of the bands you unconditionally love- it means so much more.

Prior to last night’s show, I had seen Beach House twice in London a couple of years ago. I was just in awe of the lighting, the way they sounded and how electric the atmosphere was. I’ve never connected with London, so to see them in my newly adopted home- Manchester, was just a dream come true. Since 2006, Beach House have been a band that have meant the world to me, and have always been the most comforting sound. To see them in such a beautiful venue in the best city in the world, was just perfect.

Albert Hall is one of Manchester’s best venues and just a beautiful building. An old converted church that was just perfect for Beach House. To see the silhouettes of people dancing against the stain glass windows was so moving, and to see a sea of people getting completely and utterly lost in the music was such a thing of beauty. There was a person at the front of the stage wearing a yellow hoodie (I think) and from where I was sitting, I could see exactly how much the music means to him. They were reacting how I have done so many times at shows. This was the first time I had seen Beach House and not cried. Their music is everything to me, and to see someone else react like I do and have done was just so moving. Victoria noticed the person, and she went over to them. It was such a beautiful moment. Victoria has this presence on stage that, although you know she is shy, she has this gorgeous aura about her that is so soothing. To see her be this way towards a fan was such a lovely and touching moment.

Beach House played 18 songs. 18 songs that filled the venue with love and comfort. Songs that mean the world to us all. Beach House have enough records for you to want to see them live all the time, and B-sides to make you even more addicted to them. Their set list last night was just perfect. I could not have dreamed up a better list of songs to hear. I mean sure, classics like Lover Of Mine and Apple Orchard but it’s the rarer songs that really hit you in the gut. The reaction that everyone’s favourite, Myth has is just beautiful.  Walk In The Park was the most sentimental song for me. I’ve used that song so many times as a way out of whatever was going on.

The drums on 10 Mile Stereo blew my mind completely. Every time I’ve seen them, this song has always been played and every single time it just moves me. It is such a brilliant song, and to see it live never ever gets old. Alex and Victoria are nothing short of brilliant musicians. Victoria hides behind her hair, but her presence is so big and so wonderful. She doesn’t need to make pointless conversation or behave a certain way in order for you to pay attention. Her voice is so calming. Beach House are a band I listen to after I’ve had a panic attack, so I do listen to them a hell of a lot! There is something so reassuring about Alex’s hypnotic guitar and Victoria’s gentle voice. It feels like you’re being guided towards something your mind can’t always take you to. Beach House take you there, always.

Beach House have always been a band I use as a guide and just a form of security. Their live shows most certainly reinforce all of this. I adored seeing Wishes, Girl of the Year and Norway so much. Norway and Lazuli are two songs that I treat as my crutch at times, and every element of these songs just calms me down. 18 songs don’t feel like enough. It went by so fast, and I just wanted to hear more and more. The lighting wouldn’t make an epileptic feel too great, but it makes the show. The lights are in time to certain moments of the songs. Myth and Lemon Glow for me, really came to life and the lights just made you feel like you were in an abandoned swimming pool, and Beach House just give you this pure and joyous experience that no other band can give you. You feel like you’re floating and unaware of what is happening in the outside world. Music is the perfect escape, and Beach House just fill you with this feeling of freedom that no other band ever has.

Was this one of the best shows I’ve ever been to? Of course it was. I loved how diverse the crowd was, and the amount of love shown for the band. And the way that Beach House reciprocated it, was nothing short of perfect.

Beach House are a band that you just have to see. On record they ease your soul, and their live shows go above and beyond this. With each record they find new ways to captivate you, and for me their live shows do exactly the same every single time.

 

 

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BABY BRAINS.

16 10 2018

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I’ve found one of the coolest bands/singers ever. EVER. Baby Brains. Heard of ’em? Let me educate you about this absolute gem of a singer. She’s everything I want from a musician, and more. I’m in love with her music. I’m in awe of her voice and how wonderfully talented she is.

She is just one person. One person who magically combines all of my favourite bands in one. She reminds me of The Shangri-Las, New York Dolls, LA Witch and Ronnie Spector. I want her to take over the world, but right now she is taking over mine. Her voice is so gentle and comforting. She reminds me of very early Dum Dum Girls. She has the same soft tone to her voice like Kristen does, and how I felt when I first heard Dum Dum Girls years and years ago, well Baby Brains has brought that feeling back to me.

You know when you hear something, and you can’t really work out what life was before you heard their music? That’s how Baby Brains makes you feel. That’s exactly how I feel. I feel like she makes the kind of music I’ve been searching for. You know that feeling you get, when you hear something and every single part of it just makes you insanely happy? That’s what I get from Baby Brains. There is something so effortlessly wonderful about her voice. Amanda Steever is her name- don’t ever forget it.

I think she first released some music back in 2015, and as I go back and listen to her music, there is really no denying just how brilliant she is. Her lyrics are incredible, she’s an astounding vocalist and plays her guitar with a lot of soul. There is so much soul in her music, and she combines my favourite styles of music in one- 60s Girl Groups, a bit of Garage Rock with a bit of Punk. She makes heartache sound so beautiful, and there’s so much innocence the songs. Her EP, Eat Your Heart Out is a beautiful piece of music. Who’s He Going To Meet is a gorgeous song, and it’s a sad song but the way in which she sings it soothes the pain. It’s a brilliant EP, and it sounds like someone who is easily ready to take the world over with their music. I can only hope that she does.

If I had the money, I would pay for her to fly to the UK and play some shows. She has this sound that just makes you wish you could see her show every single night. Imagine how good that would be! Imagine how great you would feel. Walk Alone is one of, or probably is my favourite song of hers… right now. I’ll change my mind, of course. Every single song is just an absolute pleasure to listen to and to have playing loudly in my ears. This is the most perfect sound. She makes the kind of music that makes me want to keep on writing about music I love. There have been a handful of bands that have done this, including TwoFiftyFour and LA Witch.

Baby Brains is evident that Johnny Thunders is alive and well in certain musicians. He is definitely flowing in and out of her sound. She has that same magnetic sound in her guitar that just makes you move without a care in the world. Just like Johnny Thunders did, and always will.

I’m calling Baby Brains as being my absolute favourite find of the year, and I really cannot wait to hear more from her and write about her.





TABLE SCRAPS. The Castle, Manchester. 04/10/2018

5 10 2018

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Whilst living in London, I missed many chances to see a band I quite frankly adore, and am obsessed with. My missed chances came down to clashes with other plans, public transport being a shithead and my own misgivings- panic attacks. The thought of potentially going out on my own would more often than not cause me to feel like I was, to put it heavily but honestly- dying. I still get that feeling. This week I’ve noticed it happening, but I’m not beating myself up over it. I left a city that was pretty much killing me in all ways possible, and now I’m finally settled in a place I should have been in many years ago. Why is this relevant? It probably isn’t. I’ve been up since 5am. I’ve done my washing, ironed (I know!!) some clothes and to my disgust, drank coffee because I wanted to see if it would help me stay awake. I’m now at work. I start at 8, I’ve got 15 minutes to tell you about why last night’s show was brilliant. Please note: the coffee hasn’t helped at all and I really want to take a nap.

Table Scraps are quite frankly one of the best bands you will ever see. I’m not exaggerating with this one. You want riffs that melt your face? Got it. You want vocals that beautifully burst your eardrums? Got it. You want the bass to sail through you and make you move in ways you didn’t know you could? Best believe you’ve got it. Oh, and you want the drums to sound like some higher being is in the room? Got it, and then some. Table Scraps are three musicians who, in my eyes (and ears) are HUGELY underrated. On record, it is obvious how amazing they are. But when you see them live, it’s totally different. The Castle is a tiny venue. It’s a pub with a small back room, which is basically a sauna. Last night was a sweatfest, and I don’t think it could have been better any other way. Scott is EASILY one of the best guitarists around. In fact, he’s most certainly up there with being one of the best I’ve ever seen. He makes his guitar sound like a machine gun being wielded by a maniac. This is purely down to the way he thrashes his guitar about and gives you this face-melting solos when you least expect it.

Let’s talk about Poppy and her being probably the best drummer you’ll see. There’s a couple of drummers I love hearing, and seeing them play live. I’ve got my list on my mind, and I’ve pushed Poppy to the top because I honestly don’t think I’ll ever witness anything or anyone as great as her again. I know fuck all about playing music, I just love music as a fan and write as one. I don’t know what the technical terms are or whatever, but let’s just go with Poppy being the best drummer around- and most definitely in this country. Again, she treats her drums as a weapon. Every beat is felt in your chest, and you move to the perfect timings. Then we move on to Tim. The tallest bass player I ever did meet. The bassist is the backbone of a band, but with Table Scraps that doesn’t occur. They are all the backbone of the band. I love the way Tim guides and glides us through the songs. He isn’t as manic as Scott is, but don’t let his cool, calm stance fool you. He’s got this subtle way of making you pay close attention to what he is doing. And what is he doing? Making you witness that the bass can be equally as aggressive as the drums and guitar.

Table Scraps annihilate the stage at The Castle, and blow our minds. My personal favourite was I’m A Failure. It’s my favourite song by them, and I was super happy to see it live. This is only the second time they have played Manchester and I sincerely hope it isn’t the last. Just give them a residency at The Castle or Soup Kitchen. But to be honest, they are a band that could easily play a huge arena and win people over. There is something about them, and I rarely say this because I love small venues, but there is something about Table Scraps that makes you want to see them play a huge stadium. Their sound is massive, and it is meant to be heard by us all. I honestly don’t see why they couldn’t sell out a huge venue, and just rip us all to shreds with their brutal sound. I hope one day they get there, because they truly deserve it.

The set ends with the excellent, Motorcycle (Straight To Hell) which sees Scott launch himself into the crowd for a few seconds, and the end of this song is greeted with Scott, Poppy and Tim just going absolutely nuts on stage. It was the perfect ending to one of the best shows I’ve ever been to.

If you ever get the chance to see them, GO. You’ll probably be a bit deaf the morning after but it’s worth it. They are truly one of the most talented, coolest, greatest and best bands around.

Oh, and one last thing- they’ve got a tape out on Burger Records. Do you know how big a deal that is?! HUGE.





SLOKS.

25 09 2018

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Torino is home to one of my biggest loves- Juventus. Much to my stepdad’s dislike (he supports Torino) Juve are my team. But Torino is home to a band that are just insanely brilliant and most definitely sound like they have escaped somewhere secure and broke out.

SLOKS sound like everything you want your new favourite band to sound like. They are like The Cramps but with more spook and weirdness in their sound. They are totally over the top and I love that so much about them. Their songs are just wild and loud. They don’t sound like anything else I’ve ever heard, but the reference to The Cramps is as close as you’ll get.

Lead singer/screamer Ivy Claudy has such powerful vocals. Her screams go right through you like an electric shock on wet skin. It makes you feel like you are out of control of everything around you, they send you into their twisted world that feels and sounds like nothing else you’ve put yourself through before. Her screams on the song, Use Me sound like someone possessed. It’s part eerie but part bloody amazing.

SLOKS are afraid to push themselves and have this off the wall sound. They totally destroy your soul with their music, and you love them for it. You want them to take every ounce of you and be part of their gang. Their songs are like fires that keep being prodded to get bigger and bigger. The music is brutal and the sheer fuzziness of it rips right through you. They are such a great band to listen to, and there’s just so much to love about them. I don’t know if I can really put across how great they are.

The vocals are distorted, but my god the screams are electrifying. Play them loud enough, and your neighbours will end up calling the police. Maybe be careful with that one. The songs are made to be played loud. Either in the comfort of your own home, or in some dodgy bar where you have no idea if you’ll leave with or without a few bruises. You can’t help but be fixated on how their live shows must be when you listen to them. You can feel the drums really go through you, the vocals are something else and the guitar just sounds like a machine gun going insane.

At the heart of it, SLOKS are a fantastic Garage Rock band but they offer you so much more. Every single song is like a punch in the gut. Your body takes frequent beatings as you listen to their songs. Today they released their new record, Holy Motor which is just a body of out of control HITS. Every song is a hit. No song feels like it is there just to take up space. These are songs you’ll obsess over, and nothing will cure you from this. It’s the fuzzy vocals. They really grip you.

Would you play this band to your parents? Well, if they’re as cool as my mum and stepdad, you would! The songs on every release I’ve been listening to just show you how this band are entirely unapologetic in what they do. They aren’t doing it for anyone else but themselves, and those who feed off this kind of music. So sure, we can call it Garage Rock or whatever- but let’s be honest, it’s just genius.

SLOKS aren’t a band that are going away any time soon. In fact, they are probably going to get louder and louder. It’s worth sacrificing your hearing for.

This is why being Italian is so cool- bands like this!

Holy Motor is out today via Voodoo Rhythm Records.





GARBAGE: 20 Years Paranoid Tour. 9th September 2018. Manchester Academy.

10 09 2018

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There are some experiences in life that can never be replicated. There are some moments where words do not do what you have been through justice. Last night I saw Garbage perform a record in full that came out 20 years ago. This is the record that saved my life. This isn’t an exaggeration; it’s the truth. Music has, and always will be my crutch but Version 2.0 helped me in ways, and still helps me in ways nothing else has. Or could.

This isn’t a typical review of a show. This wasn’t just me going to see a band play live. This was something else. This was an outer-body experience. It was part healing, part saving, part something that I do not know how to put into words.

There were a few songs I knew would break me. I tried listening to one in particular a few days before the show and I couldn’t make it through. How was I going to cope seeing it live? As soon as the opening notes to Medication kicked in, I suddenly wished I was on a higher dose of sertraline. My mind and body couldn’t really come together to fathom what I was experiencing. The brutal truth; Medication got me through being bullied all through secondary school, it got me through the years and years of self-loathing and what comes with it. Just read the lyrics, it’s fairly obvious how I coped. Do I regret it? No. Am I ashamed? Not at all. We all cope differently. So when I heard this song last night, I went back to the days of feeling like I did then. But something happened- it wasn’t just tears of sadness. They were tears of relief knowing that I don’t have to carry that feeling around ever again. Sure I have to face depression and anxiety every day- but certain feelings aren’t there no more.

A moment that truly stood out was Shirley crying at the response we gave the band. But, what else could they expect? People that were there last night were people who idolise the band, who have had their lives saved by them, who use the strength in the band make it theirs. Last night’s show was the best show I’ve ever been to- the main reason being what the record means to me. However, the reaction from everyone was just so beautiful, and totally backs up my theory that crowds in Manchester are just the best.

I loved when Shirley went into Personal Jesus during Wicked Ways. It went perfectly, and was something I just wanted to last forever. I also loved Dreams by Fleetwood Mac being sung by Shirley towards the end of You Look So Fine. That song has always made me cry for reasons I’ll never understand, and to hear Shirley sing You Look So Fine and expose just how vulnerable the song is was just something else. Push It sent everyone nuts- it was incredible. I was stood right at the back, but to see everyone go off for this song was so beautiful. The crowd was made up of every background you can imagine, and it was just a beautiful sea of people coming together to see the band that they adore. There is no better feeling.

Every B-side was played, and my personal favourite was Solider Through This. It’s been a song I have loved since I heard it years and years ago. I loved the fragility in it. I loved Shirley’s speech before she went into it. She said relationships shouldn’t be difficult, that they should be easy. I truly felt that- I was stood next to my girlfriend, my best friend as she said this. There was no one else I’d want to see my favourite band with, and allow them to see me ugly cry like that. Although a difficult song for her to sing live (the lyrics justify why) Shirley’s voice on this was one of my favourite moments of the show. Shirley’s voice at this show was nothing short of mind-blowing. I have never heard anyone sound so tough and powerful. There’s a note in this song near the end that she totally annihilates and every single part of me is covered in goose bumps. She does this numerous of times throughout the show, and I think it’s us, the crowd that make her sound louder than she ever has. I was just in awe of her voice and how Butch, Eric, Duke and Steve play with this energy that puts newer bands to shame.

The Trick Is To Keep Breathing was the song that made me cry the most. I’ve never ever cried like that at a show before, and I never will again-unless it’s seeing this song. This song was my lifeline for so long, and it still is. It’s my go to song when everything is too much or when I just need some form of reassurance. I used to repeat the chorus in my head as I walked the corridors at school and had this feeling in my stomach knowing what I was about to face. This song got me through it, and I am forever in debt to Garbage for this song.

When you go to a Garbage show, you are enamoured by all of them. You focus on Shirley stalking the stage like a hungry panther, Butch makes you wish you could play the drums, Duke is the coolest person on the planet, Steve has this laid-back stance but you know he is playing with everything he’s got and Eric drives the band on. I’ve never seen such a perfect bunch of musicians like this before. They fit together. Their bond is just so beautiful.

Excuse the pun, but it was such a special show. Every song made me feel like I was going back 20 years ago to hear this record for the first time all over again. I loved that there were little kids at the show wearing massive headphones-imagine that being your first show you ever go to! Those kids have cool families. I love how this show just brought so many people together all for the same reason. I loved hearing The World Is Not Enough,  Dumb and their cover of Can’t Seem To Make You Mine. Temptation Waits blew my mind a stupid amount! I wanted the show to keep going forever. In my head, it still is. I’m emotionally exhausted from it and I’ve had about 5 hours sleep. I feel like I am still at the show. I want to always stay in that moment.

The show ended perfectly on their cover of Starman. That song has always made me cry (what doesn’t… I know!) and to hear them sing this song, it kind of felt like the band were saying “Stay weird and don’t let anyone take it from you. Ever.” Just like Bowie always did. The way Shirley sings this makes you realise she has definitely studied his performances, and she did the song justice. They all did. They made this song theirs but in a way, you knew it was a tribute and it was so perfectly done.

I never thought I’d see/hear the songs live that saved my life. I never thought I’d experience it. It meant more to me than these words I’ve written can express. If on the off-chance they read this- thank you. You helped this kid deal with more than they could carry, and make it to adulthood.





ANNA CALVI: Ghost Rider (Suicide cover.)

6 09 2018

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This is something I should have written ages ago but you know, better late than never. If you’ve ever read any of what I’ve written, you’ll have seen a lot about Anna CalvI. There are so many reasons as to why I pretty much idolise her- the main one being how she is just effortlessly cool. However, another reason is that covered a song I really love by one of the greatest bands of all time.

A while ago Anna covered Ghost Rider by Suicide. If you’ve heard the original, you’ll know just how brilliant it is. It’s this ferocious song that just rips right through you like a motorbike zig zagging on the road. Swerving in an out of traffic. Flirting with danger. How could anyone ever cover this song? How could anyone cover this song and still make it as amazing as the original? Could anyone? Of course. Anna Calvi’s cover of Ghost Rider is this wild and raw version of a song that, you never thought anyone could ever take on. You didn’t think anyone could take this song on. Alan Vega and Martin Rev made music that was so out there, so ahead of its time and so gritty. What has Anna done with this song? Pull up a chair. Here we go.

Her recorded version of this is around the 2.40 mark. There’s a live clip that I’ve obsessed over today that’s about 6 minutes. Irrespective of the duration, Anna makes this song sound like someone coming for your soul. The heart is throwaway here. The soul is what she wants between her teeth with the remains of you dripping off her guitar. That’s the beautiful feeling that Anna gives you with her music, and my god she enhances this with her take on Ghost Rider. The way she uses her guitar as a machine gun on this song is insane. It makes me want to throw stuff, break stuff and just go bananas. The intro to this song has always been something that covers me in goose bumps, but Anna does it in a way that just makes you turn to jelly. Her voice is almost like a whisper, then she lets out those yelps that just grip you. I love how Anna and Colette from TwoFiftyFour both have vocals that can be really delicate then can be straight up loud and powerful in such a beautiful way. It reminds of Shirley Manson. These three have such distinctive vocals, and I’m pretty sure all three of them could take on a song by Suicide and turn it into a masterpiece all over again. I’d love to hear Shirley take on Dream Baby Dream and Colette take on Johnny. Imagine!

Suicide had this sound that just made them really standout, and to take on their songs you better be tough and fearless with it. Anna takes on Ghost Rider and makes you feel like Suicide have covered it. She makes it her own and turns it into this monster emerging from the depths of a lake or a forest, and will eventually rise to give chase. Suicide make it sound like a smutty New York alleyway encounter. If this doesn’t appeal to you, then why on earth not. I love music that has this unclean feel, and Suicide always gave me that. I loved how their music always made (and still does) me feel like nothing else has. It is unlike anything I’ve ever heard, and that’s why I adore Anna’s version of Ghost Rider. Time and time again she makes me feel like I’m finding her music for the first time. For a band or singer to have this ability is something we should never take for granted.

The way how Anna sings Ghost Rider is so different to how it was sang by Alan Vega. Alan’s vocals are quite clear and prominent. Anna takes the song, sings it softly but you can hear this urgent breathing coming out as she sings. It sounds like she is being chased as she sings this or maybe she’s the one doing the chasing. I’m going to go with the latter. It’s like she is running after someone, telling them this tale and every time those yelps come out of her and her guitar just turns into this electrifying force, you feel as if she has caught up with you and done whatever she wants with you. She rips you soul from within and takes over it by the end of the song. Her songs have always felt like a film to me, so cinematic and Suicide have always done this too, I feel. I can totally see why she took this song on. It’s like it was made for her to cover. She goes beyond doing the song justice. As someone who is pretty much obsessed with Suicide, I am utterly in awe of Anna’s cover of this incredible song. It was one of the first songs I heard by Suicide, so it holds a bit of sentimental value to me. To hear a singer I absolutely adore take on a song by a band I am forever in awe of, and make it their own. To make them take this song someplace else and make you forget it is a cover just blows my mind.

We live in a world now where Alan Vega is no longer with us, and it’s something that’s pretty hard to take in. When he died, the loss really hit me. When I listen to Anna’s cover of Ghost Rider it eases the loss and longing for a band that are no more because she just makes it something else. She turned it into her own masterpiece.





ANNA CALVI: Hunter.

31 08 2018

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Of all the records that have come out this year, and will come out this year, I am so sure that none are going to have such a hold on me as Hunter by Anna Calvi does. With one listen, I was hooked. It’s as cinematic masterpiece. Multiple listens, and my queer heart could burst with sheer joy at this beautiful masterpiece. Without sounding clichéd, this is Anna’s best record to date. Nothing can shadow this glorious piece of art. The songs are vulnerable and show sides to human nature that most would shy away from. The only way for me to get my thoughts down about this record is to just go in track by track. It’s going to be really long, but I’m not sorry for that at all. It deserves more than just words from a fan like me. It’s a perfect record that will just blow your mind in ways you didn’t think were possible.

If you’re going to stick with this, then get comfortable. Maybe play the record as you read this. Ready?

As A Man: The intro to this sets the mood of the whole record. The way it starts so intense and moody, then all of a sudden Anna’s voice comes in and possess you. She can do vocals that soothe you but she can also be utterly brutal with how bold she makes her voice. She reminds me of Shirley Manson. She isn’t afraid to show all emotions and voice them in a way that has a grip on you. The video to As A Man was released yesterday, and it is again, another work of art. I think this is such an important song, well the whole record is, because it touches on gender and sexuality, and society’s take on it all. I can truly connect with so much Anna says on this record, and this song truly shows the strength in her vocals and her lyrics. It’s so powerful and so important.

Hunter: This is the second song to be released off the record, and the video captures every emotion in this song possible. It fucks with gender, it fucks with society and it challenges you. That’s how it should be. Nothing is ever how it should be, and having these thoughts and feelings expressed in this way by Anna is beautiful. Her vocals on Hunter are so gentle. You almost feel like this is a lullaby for those who are free in who they are and those who are on the edge of doing so. It is such a gorgeous song that explores everything to do with love, lust, passion and all that it entails. You shut your eyes whilst listening to this and you can imagine someone, or yourself, freely exploring the world around them and who they are. Again, it is such an important song and the video does the song justice. The video really does expose the song to its very core and is so stripped back and open. Like I’ve mentioned already, it’s a work of art.

Don’t Beat The Girl Out Of My Boy: Sometimes when a band or singer have a lead single from their new record, it can get overlooked because it doesn’t seem new anymore. However, Anna has not fallen for this on the record. Hearing this song on the record with the previous and others following fits so well. I feel like this record is the journey of someone exploring freedom, feelings, sexuality and gender. This song is such an important part of the record, and it’s just an important song in general. Let people be fragile irrespective of their gender, it shouldn’t be that one gender can be tough but the others have to be weaker. It doesn’t work like that. I love the romanticism in this song, and it is something that has always been obvious in Anna’s music. She’s like Nick Cave in that she takes her views on love etc., and portrays them in a way that is unconventional to some but me personally, it is what I truly connect with. I still can’t get enough of this song.

Indies Or Paradise: Back to my Nick Cave reference quickly, this song has the same eeriness that Stagger Lee has. It’s got that raw darkness and massive sound to it. It’s one of my favourites, although I can’t possibly pick one for sure. I love how it’s such a dirty feeling song. It’s got this sweat-soaked smuttiness to it that I absolutely adore. It feels like stepping into something you normally wouldn’t and she exposes these strange feelings of lust and passion in such a grand way. Then she just annihilates the guitar after the two minute mark, then she almost whispers the words and you feel like she is behind you whispering in your ear. It’s insane- I love how this song has so much to offer the listener. There’s the heavy drums and the intense guitar, but all along it is Anna’s voice and lyrics that make it. It’s her words. Her words are like my favourite poets (think Rimbaud and Poe) and her voice is such a joy to listen to. Play this to your lover.

Swimming Pool: We’re now at the halfway mark of the record, and this is the song that could easily be performed without music, and delivered as a poem. The song makes you feel as if you are by the sea on a clear summer’s night. The sky is pitch black and the stars are the only source of light. Beside you is the one you love. The only one you’ll ever love, your backbone, your soulmate, your universe. It’s such a gentle and ethereal song. With this record, Anna really shows us how phenomenal she is as a guitarist. I mean, if you’re a fan you know this already but she’s gone next level on this. She’s always been on a different level to anything else I’ve ever heard before, and this song is such a beautiful and soothing song. It just oozes reassurance and unconditional admiration, and love. It is such a beautiful song that gently wraps itself around you, and cautiously tugs at your heartstrings. The lyrics are just beautiful, and Anna’s voice on this song is nothing short of magnificent.

Alpha: There are two songs on this record that I am ridiculously excited to write about. Obviously I’m excited to write about the whole record, but two songs this morning in particular stuck with me when I heard them. I really really hope Alpha is released as a single because the video to this would be wild. It’d just be the wildest and insane video. The way Anna toys with gender on this song is wonderful. She questions so much on this song, and does it in a way that makes you do exactly the same. I love how powerful this song is, it’s easily one of the most powerful songs on the record, and you’d think it’d be the most vulnerable given the amount of questioning, but it’s definitely the toughest song on the wrong. I love how she basically roars out, “I divide and conquer” towards the end of the song, and just launches into such a powerful guitar break that is probably going to be amazing to see live.

Chain: This is another one I hope Anna releases as a single because the video would be so amazing. Chain massively toys with sexuality and gender, and I just love it. I love how obvious it is, but not in a clichéd way. I love how Anna sings: “I’ll be the boy you be the girl I’ll be the girl you be the boy I’ll be the girl.” So simplistic, but there’s something about it that just oozes the beauty in being free of labels. I adore how open the song is, and you can take it in whatever way you want. It’s definitely one of those songs that make you feel fearless and like you can take anything, and anyone one. There’s another line in the song that I love, “And in the golden light the sun began to set on her red lips and her words.” It is such a captivating line, and I think it might be my favourite lyric on Hunter. There’s so much in that line, and it’s sung so beautifully. The whole song is just out of this world. Anna’s voice is unlike anything else I’ve ever heard. Its part operatic, part punk and one of a kind.

Wish: Five minutes and sixteen seconds of euphoric joy. This is the other song I have been so excited to write about. I nearly got run over on the way home from work listening to this, its fine. I was totally engrossed in the song. I love how it has this dramatic build up, and the way Anna sings on this song is so intense. I love the line, “My mind is free…” There is something so magical about this line and the urgency in Anna’s voice throughout this song just leaves me in awe. It’s definitely a song that’ll make everyone go nuts when she plays it live. It’s got something about it that just screams urgency, need and the intense desire to be heard. I just love it so much, I don’t think my words can do this song justice. There are so many reasons as to why this is such a great song, but the main one is just how it goes off from the 3 and a half minute mark, then it calms down. It’s like a storm erupting and how it becomes tame towards the end is like the calmness after a thunderous downpour. It’s a song to play loud so your neighbours and beyond get into it. It’s a song I could happily talk someone’s ears off about. I’m obsessed with it.

Away: The more I read Anna’s lyrics, the more I am certain she is a poet. She’s not just a singer or musician. She’s a poet who gets to the very heart of you. She delves deep into the soul and is unafraid to expose human vulnerabilities. I have so much love and respect for her, and this record is just an exceptional piece of art. Away is a gentle song, and it is one of the quieter moments on the record. Imagine being in the studio as this was recorded. It’s the kind of song that would just reduce you to tears. If I saw her sing this live, I’d just cry. I’m not ashamed, I’d breakdown but it’d be a moment I was happy to be in. There is something really special about this song, and I hope it isn’t overlooked by anyone who listens to it, because these quiet moments show just how strong Anna’s voice is and how she can make herself sound fragile even when her voice is the most powerful thing you’ll hear.

Eden: I don’t want this record to end, but Eden is a gorgeous song to end on. There is so much innocence in this song, and it really comes to life in this line: “On your bed so small, with your heroes on the wall. In the fading light.” I love how this makes you think of the innocence of a pure and unfiltered love you have for your person. I love how it has this beautiful wonder about it, and how having such intimate moments like this cause you to pick up on details such as photos of people you admire are on the wall, and your love stares upon them as you are lying close together in this small space. It is just so beautiful. So beautiful. Like I said, I don’t want this record to end but this song is the perfect ending to such a magnetising record. For me, this song expresses the journey of falling in love and always being in love with that one person. It’s such a personal, intimate song that really hits you in the gut. I hope she’s super proud of this song because she captures something so pure here.

I’ve been a fan of Anna since I first heard her cover of Jezebel, I think. I was hooked and I knew I had found a singer I could connect with. I knew I had found someone who I would always connect with and couldn’t wait to hear more of. I’ve used Anna’s music as a crutch and an escape route many times, but Hunter doesn’t feel like an escape route. It feels like a form of security and place of acceptance, and I hope it gets to those who need it. I hope it gets to those who are questioning themselves, and they find their way in this record and become fearless hunters. I know she’ll never see this but, Anna- this is the best record I’ve heard in a long time, and I have so much love for this record and I cannot thank you enough for creating something I can identify with that I’ve not really felt before. Grazie x