Hands & Teeth – Hunting Season

Band: Hands & Teeth
Album: Hunting Season
Shot of choice: Jameson

Written by: Chiara DiAngelo

Comprised of Natasha Pasternak (vocals, guitar, violin, keys), Jeff Pinto (vocals, keys), Kevin Black (vocals, guitar), Derek Monson (vocals, bass) and Adam Kolubinski (drums), Hands & Teeth play an eclectic mix of experimental-pop, and have pushed the limits even further on this release compared to 2010’s Enjoy Your Lifestyle.

While Hunting Season dropped back in January, and I caught them on their release tour, this is the first chance I’ve had to really sit down and consume the album as a whole. From the opening notes of “It’s Coming Back,” I was reeled right in. Starting with one voice and simple guitar and percussion, Pasternak’s voice then comes in, and the sound continues to expand outward from there. With an captivating experimental quality that extends throughout the course of the album and the mood drastically changing from one song to the next, Hunting Season could very well be the soundtrack to an underground post-modernist theatre arts performance.

“Le Petit Voleur” is a gorgeous lyrical ballad that has Pasternak’s voice taking on an almost operatic quality as she showcases her incredible range, while “Missing” has a whimsical folky feel to it and has the male vocals shining through. Sandwiched between the simple beauty of these two is “Sound of Hamilton,” one of the most experimental and tracks on the album. There is a frightening feel to this track with dark, distorted voices, heavy guitar riffs and lyrics that depict an image of a broken blue collar city. And out of all the noise then emerges Pasternak’s shrill demand “When will you tear it down?,” which just might haunt your dreams for nights on end.

Upbeat title track “Hunting Season,” features a lilting conversation between Pasternak and Pinto, overlaid upon background vocals. Ending with the carefree lyric “We’re young and then we’re leaving, Feels good and it’s alright,” the song then slows down, turning to all instrumental, before fading out with the barely audience melodic tinkling of keys. This feeling continues into the stripped-down, folky “Song 8,” which brings the album to a close on a quieter, subdued note.

You are going to want to take your time with this one, and devote the attention to it that it deserves. With so many nuanced instrumental layers, it truly took a few listens of Hunting Season to really delve into its depths, opening my ears and discovering further intricacies each time. The resulting experience was well worth the added effort.

The Hunting Season tour is taking aim at festivals this month. Hands & Teeth are currently trekking down to Austin, Texas for SXSW, playing Saturday March 17 at 512 Rooftop at 11pm; they will be returning to Toronto for the Audio Blood CMW Showcase Thursday March 22 at Sneaky Dee’s. If you’re attending either festival, be sure to save some room in your schedule for Hands & Teeth!

Oh and check out this neat interactive site for Hunting Season!


Categories: Recorded


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