Huntsmen’s unique, post-apocalyptic, doomed-out Americana is tailor-made for our age of strife.
Starlit harmonies and titanic riffs helped the Chicago act’s 2018 debut, American Scrap, turn heads worldwide. And on that record’s follow-up, Mandala of Fear, they arguably went one better.
The band’s forthcoming EP, The Dying Pines, will be out next month. In addition to two original songs, it features Huntsmen’s take on Carry On, the opening track from Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s Déjà Vu album.
In Huntsmen’s own words
“The theme of surviving, navigating, and attempting to transmute world-destroying change has been a constant in our lyrical content,” say the band. “And, we’ve been transparent about our love of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young as a huge influence both growing up and now for us as a band, especially in terms of vocal arrangements.
“Carry On is a song about living across the dividing line between comfortable innocence and a dark night of the soul, and finding redemption on the other side. Even the two halves of the song project this mood.
“We wanted to show listeners our interpretation, in which the second half of the song doesn’t just emphasize the freedom of moving forward, but also the echoes of pain and loss from what was left behind.”
The verdict on Carry On
Covering Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young is one hell of a challenge. But if you’d want any of today’s heavy acts to take it on, it would be Huntsmen.
The quintet’s beautiful close harmonies gently drift across Carry On… and it’s fascinating to hear Aimee Bueno add a female voice to the Stephen Stills-penned classic.
As you might expect, the second phase of Carry On is far weightier than the original – and it rocks a lot harder.
Yet Huntsmen have a deft touch: the groove is still there and the soul of this track remains.
It’s a fascinating reinterpretation.
What’s next for Huntsmen?
Huntsmen are gearing up for an appearance at Roadburn Festival in The Netherlands on April 24.
They’ll then head to the UK for a run of dates which include The Crofters Rights in Bristol (April 29), Corporation in Sheffield (April 30), London’s Desertfest (May 1), Star and Garter in Manchester (May 3) and Glasgow’s Attic venue (May 4).
The Dying Pines will be released via Prosthetic Records on April 22.
Photographer credit: Aaron Ehinger.