April and November are the two most hectic times of the year for me, so it’s nice to hear some chill, laid-back tunes to get me through the craziness. Hayden Calnin‘s Oh, Hunter is just that: a five-song set of relaxed tunes. The sound itself is quite impressive, melding the melodicism of The National and the tense post-dub soundscapes of James Blake.
Calnin’s low voice is evocative, and it fits in the spaces provided by the sparse beats perfectly. Instead of airy synths, Calnin trafficks in cold, separated beats that he warms with his melodies and delicate instruments: high piano notes, fingerpicked nylon-string guitar, ghostly sounds. The resulting tunes feel weighty without feeling dense; they have emotional heft without beating the listener over the head with it. Calnin shows off his talent as a mature, assured songwriter here–check out the gorgeous “Comatose” or the sparse “Not Good for Me” to see him in full form. Recommended; one to watch.