Aching with longing yet equally soaring in grandness, ‘Dreams’ is a love song dedicated to the fear of accepting life’s changes – good or bad – and inspired by an ever-changing Sydney. Johnny Hunter masterfully contrast their distinct howling vocal lines with uplifting guitars to rouse the listener into confronting the inevitability of change head on, to keep moving forward.
Reflecting on this idea, frontman Nick Hutt shared “The Sydney I grew up in is a very different Sydney to the one we live in today. Iconic buildings have been knocked down for skyrise apartments and famous music venues destroyed by political legislation. One day you are walking down the street in the sunshine, and the next you’re confined to the four walls of your own bedroom. Johnny Hunter started playing live music during the death of live music in Sydney – wallowing in self pity and declaring the current state of affairs to be insurmountable would result in this band not existing. The same goes for experiencing any modern day hardships – we can’t dwell upon them, we need to run with them in order to progress.”
Emboldened by life’s uncertainties, Johnny Hunter’s forthcoming debut Want is a reminder that we all share what it is to be human, and must embrace our whole selves on the journey to self-actualisation. “Every song is a challenge we faced as a band and as individuals in realising who Johnny Hunter is and ultimately who we truly are”, adds Hutt. Produced by Jack Moffitt (The Preatures) and mixed by critically acclaimed engineer Adam Greenspan (IDLES, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds), Want reimagines the sound of new wave and new romantics for the 21st century, fusing them into a surging 10-tracks that are as poetic as they are anthemic; as ferocious as they are vulnerable.
From the cathartic ‘Life’ to darkly hypnotic ‘The Floor’ or thunderous ‘Clover’, the theme of human connection underscores the entire album. “No matter how different we may seem…unbeknownst to what it is we want, we have all been naive, we have all strived to find our version of life, we all fear change, fear sadness, all amidst our own collective fading eternity.”
Since emerging from the shadows of Sydney’s grim nightlife in 2019, Johnny Hunter have quickly risen to underground cult favourites, selling out rooms across Australia’s East Coast and winning audiences over supporting the likes of Jack White and The Saboteurs, City Calm Down and Polish Club to name a few. Their debut EP Early Trauma (2020) garnered critical praise and airplay around the country, citing influences and drawing comparisons to The Smiths, Joy Division and The Cure. Though their sound is rooted in nostalgia, their furiously honest songwriting and explosive performance style is undeniably made for now.