We pick the hottest new live acts so you can tell your friends you heard them first. Meet Melbourne folk-pop storytellers The Hunter Express.
Swirling guitars and warm vocal melodies fill the pop-folk storytelling of Melbourne band The Hunter Express.
What began in 2016 as a passion project for singer-songwriter Brad Ellis – a way for him to explore and pursue his love for songwriting – has grown into the fully fledged band we hear today, featuring a collection of incredible Melbourne musicians.
Across a handful of stunning releases, including 2017’s debut EP Bluestone Lane, 2018’s self-titled album and their most recent release, 2019’s Should Have Come On Sunday, The Hunter Express have continued to build momentum, going from strength to strength on the live stage, and winning over fans across the country.
This upwards trajectory has continued into 2020 single ‘There Was Love’, and when we meet The Hunter Express on new single ‘God Damn Plan’, they are continuing to reach new creative heights.
A beautiful slow-burner, the track is centred around Ellis’ undeniably magnetic vocals, while dreamy synths and subtle drums mix with delicate guitar to deliver a melody that effortlessly wraps itself around you, and makes itself pretty damn hard to forget.
While the single is built on the idea of the white picket fence, and that not everything is as perfect as it seems on the outside, one thing we’re certain of is that The Hunter Express might just be the exception to the rule – with every new single they keep blowing us away.
To celebrate the release of ‘God Damn Plan’, we sat down with vocalist Brad Ellis to get to know The Hunter Express a little better.
Check out ‘God Damn Plan’ by The Hunter Express:
The Hunter Express Story
From the beginning
Brad Ellis, The Hunter Express: “I began writing and recording music in 2016. I had left my job as a youth worker to spend time developing my love for music. I started recording demos at my home. Towards the end of 2016, I reached out to a recording engineer, Callum Barter (Courtney Barnett, Big Scary). I admired the artists he had recorded, and after a few meetings we began working on my first record together at Newmarket Studios.”
What you’ll hear
“Having recorded three albums now, my sound has definitely evolved. My most recent work I would describe as pop-folk, with elements of dream pop. The recordings have swirling guitars and sonic tones made from the pedal steel, everything sits together with a singular vocal melody. It’s something I’ve always wanted to try, and I’m happy we record the majority of the next record with this in mind.”
Influences & Inspirations
“Most recently the influences and those that inspire me are my friends and family. I think 2020 was a life changer for everyone, and so I’m finding myself reassessing what’s important and who I really want to be.”
Inside his new single ‘God Damn Plan’
“I began demoing ideas for a new record at the start of 2019. This particular song really stood out as I enjoyed the lyrics in the verses. The song is a co write with Robert Muinos (Julia Jacklin, Nat Vazer) – Rob is also our engineer and producer. Having written many previous songs with Muinos, we were excited to record with him again. He created a small studio space above a vintage guitar shop in Collingwood to house the band and record the song.”
For the love of music
“What I love most about making music is working with the band on creating new sounds. We will often record live in the studio with very few over dubs. It’s those moments I really enjoy; there is a vulnerability in making music like that but I think it brings out the best in me and those around me.”
” 1. Having our most recent release premiered and played on triple j.
2. The beginning of 2020 we were able to play at Australia’s iconic St Kilda Festival.
3. Having our record placed in RRR’s weekly edition of ‘Soundscape’ and feature record on AIR (Australian Independent Record). With singles, ‘Bad Line’ and ‘Weekdays and Weekends’ receiving plays across community radio, RAGE, and triple j.
4. I traveled to LA to mix our second album at 4th Street Studios in Santa Monica.”
Overcoming struggle town
“The biggest challenge is often overing coming the anxiety that builds when I am releasing new sounds into the world. Right now I’m a completely independent artist, and it’s challenging as you’re not only funding the project, but you’re constantly putting yourself out there for others to see.”
The year ahead
“We plan to release the songs we finished recording at the end of 2019. We have had to evolve after the restrictions the pandemic caused on the music scene here in Melbourne. Expect many more single releases from The Hunter Express. We have also teamed up with artist Jess Walters who will be creating a series of film and artworks to go with the upcoming songs.”
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