Just Like Anybody Else

Scott Chalmers Photography

Relatively recent in the memory of Southampton, the alt-rock LGBT+ quartet Hunting Hearts was originally formed in 2018 by Beck Taylor Lombardi (vocals), Lucy Rose (guitar) and Devin Valentine (bass). Joining a few months later to complete the band in time for the release of their first EP, Pride Not Prejudice, in 2019 was Matthew Wellspring on drums.

And now, on the other side of a world-changing couple of years, they have burst back onto the scene with a crowdfunded, DIY debut album, Anybody Else. Hailed as ‘a collection of certified bangers’ by Original Rock and given five stars as a ‘masterpiece of human emotion’ by The PunkSite.Com, this 13 track release is bursting with anthems built for the lungs of the queer and marginalised.

Hunting Hearts came about by the serendipitous meeting and connections of three queer individuals, either through mutual friends or chance encounters and, as their name suggests, they have been collecting the hearts of punks, rockers and rebels ever since. The band have formed a dedicated and cult-like following, affectionately dubbed as their Underdog Kids, and this rebellion transcends age, race, gender and sexuality and works tirelessly to uplift the oppressed.

Scott Chalmers Photography

After Pride Not Prejudice, in which they laid the groundwork for what was to come, Hunting Hearts began writing the songs that would become the album, barely snatching time to write notes while touring the EP through various pride festivals along England’s southern coast. However, the brunt of the work was done while the world closed its doors in the face of a global pandemic. Sharing ideas, lyrics and riffs online, throwing demo tracks back and forth, and then practising when possible in distanced rehearsal spaces, the album slowly took shape over months of isolation. Stitch by stitch. Note by note.

It all culminated at the start of 2021 when they were finally allowed to enter the studio, adorned with masks and ideas, to begin the recording process. The band threw everything and the kitchen sink at the process to make their vision a reality. They even formed a choir to add an operatic flair to the album, recorded over several days in a country barn to allow for appropriate distance between the various singers.

After fourteen long days of blisters and calluses, laughs and do-overs, writing and improvisation, Hunting Hearts had their album. Now they just had to get it out there. So, several months later, they began an alternate reality social media campaign, headlined by a trilogy of short-film music videos, which all told the story of fighting back against the oppressive InsidCORP and their quest to destroy the world with T.E.R.F energy.

For anyone who has ever been taken advantage of by the capitalist system or been discriminated against for being outside the ‘normal’, these songs and their story are for you. This wild ride of an album is about standing up in resistance when faced with corporate and governmental opposition. It’s about finding yourself and your place among friends and being accepted for who you are. It’s about loss and love. It’s about epics and understated moments. It’s about anger.

It’s about pride. It’s about being human. It’s about standing up and representing those who don’t have a voice and shouting out those that would keep you down. But most of all it’s about showing that the members of Hunting Hearts could be anybody else. Not just in that what they feel and experience, what they desire, dream, love and lose are the same as anybody else, but in that they could be anybody else in what they represent.

Anybody else could be in their position, singing these songs and speaking these words. It’s not about being the ones that convey the message, but that the message itself gets across. In all this, they are just like anybody else.

And this album is Anybody Else.

Constantly underestimated but never underwhelming, Hunting Hearts are a dark horse of punk and a force with which to be reckoned. They are taking their audience – old faithful and new fans alike – along with them in musical rebellion, all while bringing a classic, DIY punk approach to their work. Hunting Hearts have ensured that their output is as polished as possible and that they did their best for their Underdog Kids.

Keep an eye on them for what they have planned in the future. Because their time is coming and audiences should be ready to ‘burn the bigots, love the lovers and dance like no one is looking’ (Mark Cartwright, The PunkSite.com).

Anybody Else was released on 22nd April and is available to purchase and stream on Bandcamp, Spotify and all other major platforms. 

For tour information consult: www.huntinghearts.uk/shows
For press contact: huntingheartsband@gmail.com [FAO: Taylor] or call: 07894515576

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