Friday, February 13, 2009

Van Hunt offers exclusive sneak peek at unreleased material

Posted By on Fri, Feb 13, 2009 at 2:18 AM

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A message simply titled "the new-ness" accompanies six new songs unceremoniously posted on Van Hunt's MySpace page today — for a limited time only:

While i await the fate of my new record, i decided to let ya'll hear some things that will not appear on the new record. i like the ideas presented here, but, they will probably not see the light of day for a long time; and i wanted to share them with somebody. it is likely that only musicians will like the sounds. maybe not. either way, they will not be up for long. so, pirates, on your mark, get set, download!

VH

Tracklisting:

1) "War of Northern Aggression"

2) "I Only Want to Conquer You"

3) "Unaffected"

4) "What Comes to Mind"

5) "The Look of Sincere Pleasure"

6) "I Love You, Madly"

All of the songs are very minimalist in structure, with half being instrumental only. Two of the tracks — "War of Northern Aggression," and "What Comes to Mind," in particular — almost draw comparisons to jazz pianist/composer Thelonious Monk. While "I Only Want to Conquer You" sounds like the skeleton of a Sly Stone song, circa There's a Riot Goin' On or Small Talk.

But mostly, Hunt resembles himself, though these selections sound less like anything he's previously released. It's easy to understand why he figures musicians will appreciate the songs most due to the sparseness of the tracks. But perhaps there's also a hint of modesty hidden in that statement. There's a purity in these songs that would only be undercut if the bare bones instrumentation was fleshed out further. Still, you can hear the growth and a willingness to explore new turf while remaining true to his center. If this is a sampling of what won't make the cut, that should signal good things for the final release — for which he offers no proposed dates or details.

It's been a year since Van Hunt split with Blue Note/EMI before the anticipated release of his third full-length Popular. He was gearing up for the release when he came to Atlanta for a show in ’07 and conducted a Q&A with Crib Notes. After the label got bought out, Hunt left his album's masters behind vowing to independently release future material.

At the time of this posting, he was inching toward 2,000 plays on MySpace for today, alone. Without a doubt, dude still seems to clock a serious fan base. Surely he could write his own ticket.

Speaking of writing, he showcases his signature style best on song no. 3, "Unaffected"; and on song no. 6, "I Love You, Madly," on which he sings accompanied only by an acoustic guitar for most of the song:

There she goes unnoticed again

Unnoticed by the finest of men

But I think she's a hidden treasure

I can't help but feel sorry for them

Waiting for Miss America

To come and lay her crown on their shoulders

When there's another, she's so understated

So underrated

(Cooing: Who ooh ooh ooh)

I love you madly

I'm not ashamed to say it

And if you ask me to I would gladly

Tell the world about you baby

No one has ever loved her for the reasons

The reasons she would choose to be loved

The things she's done for male attention

Has only drawn the weakest ones

Sex fiends and homecoming kings

Who only love the girls in the magazines

When there's another, she's so understated

So underrated

(Cooing: Who ooh ooh ooh)

Well I love you madly

I'm not ashamed to say it

And if you ask me to I would gladly

Tell the world about you baby

BRIDGE

I love you — madly

(background hums)

I love you — madly

(background hums)

I love you — madly

(background hums)

I love you — madly

(background hums)

I love you — madly

(background hums)

(Photo courtesy Van Hunt's MySpace page)

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