In his first-ever full album of solo songs, Graham Hunt (of Midnight Reruns) has set out to make a strong record that is representational of his distinct sound. Out Friday, February 22 on Forged Artifacts, Leaving Silver City showcases a diverse range of sounds with 10 of Hunt’s tracks that move from power-pop riffs into punkier, dissonant music–yet somehow, it all makes sense for these songs to live on the same record.
Hunt plays with texture on Leaving Silver City, and though each song features a new feel, it all fits together relatively well. The opening track, “13 Places”, feels almost beachy in its twangy guitar picking, but there’s still a definite element of grunge in Hunt’s vocals. It’s a fairly light track with intricate layers woven throughout, but the next song, “Every Person” has an immediate impact with its heavier guitar riffs.
Hunt’s exploration of texture goes beyond the contrasts between light and heavy, however; on “Kendall’s Gonna Love It”, gravelly percussion and a fuzzy quality add a lo-fi grit to the track. Something cuts through near the end, though–perhaps the mellotron, played by Sahan “Cold Lunch” Jayasuriya–and provides a clear, smooth contrast to the otherwise grungy song. Later, too, Hunt plays with hollow-sounding drums and clear guitar picking on “Dead Not Done”, a track which feels simultaneously more melodic and rustier than previous tracks–though neither of those attributes takes away from its engaging content or surprising catchiness.
The album could stand to use a bit of restructuring to prevent any jarring transitions, though. The shift between “Night Breeze” and “Select All”, for example, is startling as Hunt moves from a largely mellow, simple track where he is primarily backed by his guitar into something as fast-paced and punky as the latter track. Perhaps it is intentional, but the shift is unsettling. That’s not to say that either track is bad; they simply don’t fit together as well as they would next to other tracks on the record–by putting “Night Breeze” closer to the lighter first track, “13 Places”, for example.
Song order aside, however, there is no doubt that Graham Hunt has put together a diverse, wide-ranging record that shows off his many talents well. And while his solo album has elements in common with his work with Midnight Reruns, it is also a sound that is distinctly his own, blending aspects of punk and power pop into something edgy, engaging and eclectic.
Check out Leaving Silver City below: