25 Oct 2021

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Hunter Davison - EP Review: Headspins

15 May 2021 // A review by Danica Bryant

Hunter Davison’s debut EP, Head Spins, explores the love, lust and mental health struggles of young people today. It is a vulnerable collection of songs with a knack for interesting rhythmic and melodic ideas. Each song centres around various drug-related metaphors, an emotive technique which grounds the EP as a whole.

The opening track, Ecstasy, immediately displays Davison’s ability for catchy melodies. His playful lyricism is particularly noticeable on this track. Although some lines feel clunky, the vast majority do well to solidify Davison’s identity as a voice for the youth. Instrumentally, there is just enough going on to be exciting and upbeat without being overwhelming; the song’s most special moment comes when the drum machine briefly dives into trap territory, just before the final chorus glides back in.

With its spacious, glittering production, Up All Night is an EP highlight. The slow electric guitar, later paired with a relaxed drum, turns the song into a serenade from Davison’s own late-night bedroom. Its lustful, nostalgic lyrics make listeners look back in wonder at their own romantic experiences.

Whilst Davison explains Comedowns as a track about “the anxiety associated with peer pressure”, acoustic guitar in the chorus keeps the track upbeat, as he questions whether the people around him are right for his life. Comedowns proves Davison is unafraid to indulge in the embarrassing, strange and emotional, for the sake of a genuine song.

Closing out Head Spins, What’s New offers the EP’s most memorable chorus. It combines a chilled melody and rhythm with simple but tight lyrics. Much of the track’s runtime is devoted to a unique rap from Wellington’s Will McClean. Although McClean’s vocals here feel somewhat underproduced, this does allow each word of the rap to shine. The collaboration also underpins the song’s narrative of a friend reaching out to another in need, as Davison and McClean play off one another’s lyrics and energies. 

Head Spins is the sound of a good trip, even as it tells us stories of the bad. It is sonically cohesive, well-ordered for thematic purposes, and bears a strong aesthetic identity. Davison’s debut release proves that, with some lyrical refinement and further exploration of his creative production style, he is a force to be reckoned with in the world of indie pop.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )

About Hunter Davison

Hailing from Christchurch, New Zealand, Singer-songwriter Hunter Davison found his beginnings in Rock, Jazz, Soul and R&B at an early age which in turn cultivated his unique taste and style. Davison writes and records from the comfort of his bedroom as he finds that recording in such a personal space adds a certain intimacy to the music he makes. He finds songwriting a cathartic process and a wonderful way to document his interpretations and experiences of life.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Hunter Davison


Head Spins
Year: 2021
Type: EP

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