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James Hunter and The Gatherers - EP Review: You

21 Jan 2021 // A review by Darryl Baser

There are tough days and good days in all aspects of life. In music reviewing there are recording which don’t grab you and professionalism is necessary. Then there are times when you listen to an artist you’ve never heard before, you put the recording on, and practically by the first chorus you’re engaged. James Hunter’s You EP is exactly the latter.

It opens up with the title track, which begins with him sighing, then very gentle, and faultless arpeggio on an acoustic guitar. The song builds gradually and so subtlety that you hardly notice its intensity with a massive crescendo near the end.

For those like me, until I heard this EP, who haven’t heard James Hunter’s voice. I urge you, please listen. The upper register of his falsetto makes me think of boy sopranos or, in very much olden times, castrato singers (you don’t have to be a Rhodes scholar to figure out what might make a castrato singer be able to reach very high notes, it’s kind of in the word castrato). Take a minute, think about it if you need to, but make sure you’re listening to this exquisite EP while you do.

There are three other songs on the EP; Let Me Sing To You, Dear Beautiful and Dance of The Woods. All three could easily be singles as they’re stand-out songs in their own right.

Let Me Sing To You is pretty much the perfect love song, it has heart, pathos, it’s a bit a yearning, totally soppy. I love it so much. As a 50-year-old fullah with a pathological revulsion of poorly written schmaltzy clichéd crap, it’s not typically in my lexicon to say I love this love song, but there you go, this song is that song.

I don’t do 5 star reviews lightly at all, but this is a 5 and a half.

It’s like each son was the song that James Hunter had to play and record before the world ended.

An excellent sophomore EP from this song writer who is shining a bright beacon for the future of songwriting in Aotearoa.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )

About James Hunter and The Gatherers

James Hunter is an alternative folk musician hailing from Wellington, New Zealand. Having been a writer and a performer all his life, Hunter writes, records, and produces records that are minimal in scope, but intimate through his vocal delivery.

The abrupt appearance of COVID 19 allowed Hunter the chance to release Two EPs, Last Little While and You which were created entirely from a small room in his Wellington flat.

Hunter’s sounds are created in narratives that allow listeners to journey with him through vulnerable places in the human soul: love, fear, faith, joy, pain. He hopes to share his life with others, in the hope of growing with others and being able to connect with others in the process.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for James Hunter and The Gatherers


Year: 2020
Type: EP
Last Little While
Year: 2020
Type: EP

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