Haast Hunter’s ‘Sunshine’: A Resonant Blend of Past and Future Sounds

Kiwi hard rock trio Haast Hunter shine a light on mental health with their powerful single ‘Sunshine.’ 

With roots firmly planted in the town of Hamilton, nestled in the heart of New Zealand‘s north island, also affectionately known as Kirikiriroa in Maori, the vibrant rock trio, Haast Hunter, emerges as a thrilling new force in the music scene.

Fronted by the dynamic singer-guitarist James Harper, and fueled by the rhythmic prowess of drummer Richard Oranje and the groovy basslines of Chris Gudsell, this exciting ensemble is set to make waves and rock the world!

Haast Hunter

On a sunny May 29th this year, Haast Hunter unleashed their fourth single, ‘Sunshine,’ a compelling expedition into the realm of heavy rock riffs with a profound message of mental health awareness. With concise precision, the Kiwi trio delivers a powerful musical journey that leaves a lasting impact on the hearts and minds of listeners.

“[The song] is [about] someone enduring the pain and battle of depression, and coming through the other side”, Harper explains. As Harper reveals, he was experiencing some heavy personal issues when he first joined Oranje in a jam room in 2016 to begin what would become Haast Hunter, but playing and listening to music was his main catharsis. “The opportunity to join a band could not have come at a better time”, he stated. Through honing their craft over seven years, Haast Hunter’s latest original single is a dramatic track that should resonate with many through its heartfelt approach.

As the curtains rise on the stage of ‘Sunshine,’ Haast Hunter invites us into their sonic universe with a masterful display of skill, commencing the journey with a clean and resonant electric guitar riff, executed with unparalleled dexterity.

Haast Hunter

Amp feedback gracefully ushers in a pulsating beat, propelling us headfirst into the heart of the track’s main riff. What unfolds next is a harmonious fusion, reminiscent of Soundgarden’s undeniable swagger, blended seamlessly with the vibrant, energetic crunch of mid-90s Metallica, evoking the essence of their iconic ‘Load’ and ‘Reload’ era.

Haast Hunter has crafted a sonic delicacy that leaves us craving for more, a perfect blend of influences that sparks an electrifying fire within our souls.

After Harper’s soulful vocal delivery in the song’s first verse, dynamics swell again in a familiar loud-quiet-loud approach to take us into the first chorus. “Is there anybody out there”, asks Harper in the song’s choruses, with a ‘yarling’ technique applied to ‘there’ that is observed in the singing of Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, among others.

Haast Hunter takes us on a thrilling ride through two exhilarating instrumental passages. The excitement builds as the dynamic drumming takes center stage, skillfully driven by the thunderous double-kick technique, infusing the track with a powerful energy.

The band’s penchant for TOOL-like progressiveness adds a delightful spice to the mix, with each beat and rhythm, Haast Hunter proves themselves as masters of their craft, that leave a lasting impression.

‘Sunshine’ emerges as a true testament to Haast Hunter’s sonic evolution, skillfully engineered by the renowned Olly Harmer at Auckland’s prestigious Lab Studios – a maestro who has lent his expertise to practically ALL the big names in New Zealand music. This single serves as a glorious amalgamation of the band’s past and future styles, drawing from the essence of their previous releases, while also hinting at the exciting path they’re embarking upon.

With the stage set for their forthcoming debut album, Haast Hunter has established themselves as a force to be reckoned with, leaving fans eagerly anticipating the musical brilliance that lies ahead.

Wrap your earholes around “Sunshine Below”