Hunck

Each week VH Music picks out a new artist you should definitely be checking out. This week, Dan explains why you should be listening to Hunck.

Things are about to explode for London five-piece Hunck…maybe. At the end of the week they’ll drop their latest single ‘All Dressed Up’ and next week they’ll play their biggest headline show to date, at The Lexington, London. Yet things could still go either way for this dream-pop come surf-rock band…

Active since 2014 when they released two tracks; a gloomy cover of Frank Sinatra’s ‘In The Wee Small Hours of the Morning’ and the blissed out, nostalgic gem ‘Toy Trucks’, they’ve been shifting and fidgeting around trying to find a sound to stick with ever since. Well, I say ‘sound’, I think it’s been more a matter of “how gloomy, hazy and spaced out shall we be?” The answer, it seems, is “less is more”.

Since 2014 and subsequent releases and events – including getting hand-picked by Everything Everything to play Reading Festival 2015, and the January release of debut EP Never Had a Dream – it’s almost like the band have slowly woken from their hazy, dream-pop slumber to find a brighter side of themselves, at least musically. Their latest single, ‘All Dressed Up’, sees the shoegaze reverb thrown out in favour of a cleaner guitar tone accompanied by an increased use of synths and keys. Vocals take a step forward too, in terms of prominence in the mix. The sleepy-dust has been fingered out, and clear vision restored.

However, the world in which Hunck live is still very much the same; it’s a bit shit, it’s a bit regretful and it’s pretty fucking lonely. These themes have always played a prominent role in the band’s lyrical content, and it’s always been a strength of the band to be oh-so-depressingly-on-the-nose with those themes. ‘All Dressed Up’ is no different. In the past you might have just been bummed out by the band, but now you can be bummed out and still want to dance. Like a sad puppet or a Russian circus bear.

But this isn’t Arctic Monkeys like, millennial observation. You don’t have to be from the North to get it, you don’t have to be from London to get it, you don’t even have to be born after 1991 to get it. There’s a universal appeal here, as long as you like guitar pop with more than the occasional reference to self-medicating your depression. And I do. I also like earworms with enough tenacity to cause alterations in sleep patterns. The question is, does everyone else? If the answer is yes, then Hunck are set for a very long career in music. If it happens to be no, then that’s fine, they probably knew they were going to fail anyway.

‘All Dressed Up’ is out on Friday August 12th and tickets for their headlining gig at The Lexington, London on August 16th are available, here.