Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Horizon: Jane Hunt

June 16, 2011

That’s a new tag up there. “Horizon” is the label that I’m going to be putting in front of artists that have both promise and a lot of work yet to do. These are bands to keep in the back of your mind; not recommendations or raves, but bands that could be great with some more time and sweat invested. Some people may be uninterested in reading about works in progress, which is why I’ve decided to tag them appropriately. But new, young artists matter to Independent Clauses, so I’m allotting space for them in this new feature.

Not every band that submits to Independent Clauses will get featured in Horizon; I am but one man with time constraints, and I have to hear some promise in a work. Nor will Horizon articles be on any type of schedule; they’ll just be in the mix of things.

Quick Hits, stuff I’m interested in but don’t have that much to say about, will still exist. That has nothing to do with Horizon.

Jane Hunt is an apt first Horizon artist because she’s about as immensely talented as she is confusing. Her four-song EP Violin Venus features an orchestral piece (“Melia Dream”), a Portishead-style trip-hop piece with vocals (“Vasene”), a gorgeous acoustic guitar/piano instrumental (“Flying High”) and what sounds like a film score (“Sahara”). Her desire is to merge the classical and pop worlds together.

Her violin skills can’t be knocked; she can definitely play. But this EP has little to nothing in the way of cohesiveness. “Flying High” is absolutely gorgeous; “Vasene” sounds kitschy, especially without more songs in the same style around it to sell the idea that she’s not just appropriating the style. “Melia Dream” is pretty, but not near as polished as Olafur Arnalds’ work; “Sahara” is a great concept marred by odd percussion and unnecessary electric guitar.

Jane Hunt needs to better integrate her ideas so that listeners can understand what she’s going for. She has the technical chops and the songwriting skill, but her Violin Venus is a confusing, unfocused release. But man, “Flying High” is gorgeous.

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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