Hazel

Young Hunting

Gold Robot Records, 2013

http://soundcloud.com/younghunting

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 09/02/2019

A Los Angeles outfit who really impressed me with 2019's True Believers, I was understandably pretty eager to dive into Hazel, the debut album from Young Hunting. This is an enthralling listening that has the quintet penning tunes inspired by divorce, misguided affairs, and existing in their show business oriented city. How this first record didn't cause more of a dent is beyond me. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“Into your mind” starts the album dreamy and soft with cautious plucking and a jangly setting as the curious opener unfolds with a soaring, ethereal quality. “Sweet Bird” follows with a vocally expressive and reserved tune where the layered vocals  shine. Elsewhere on Side A, “Maze” finds the band getting busy and lush with quieter ebbs of indie folk friendly melodica, while the percussion heavy and strong atmosphere of “Wrecking Ball” is one of the best on the LP. The first side ends on the sugary sweet “Rust,” which just oozes '80s ideas with a significant shoegaze aspect.

Side B is just as interesting, starting with the acoustic based and highly emotive “Annabelle,” which draws parallels to the early days of Radiohead with sublime beauty, and the playful, folksy “White Light Years,” which delivers a chorus and vocal work you won't soon forget. Young Hunting ends the listen on the mysterious, retro-pop stunner “Baby's First Steps,” and “Ride On” exits the affair much like it started with gorgeous gothic-folk stylings where strategic horns really punctuate the conclusion.

An album that took two years to make, it is very apparent that a lot of work went into this debut. The meticulous delivery and unclassifiable nature of the listen make for an inviting, warm, and often mesmerizing experience. If you, like me, find that far too many indie outfits are too derivative of their influences, try Young Hunting on for size – you won't be disappointed.

Rating: B+

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© 2019 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Gold Robot Records, and is used for informational purposes only.