HAUNTER is a new force in alt-pop, born from sleepless nights, a desire for growth, and the connective power of music.
The band traces its roots back to late 2016 when Enoma Asowata (guitars/synths) met producer/songwriter Tyler Smyth while pursuing DIY projects during the Warped Tour era. The duo clicked musically and after several months of talks, Enoma sent Tyler some rough demos of songs he had written, wanting to do something different, challenging, and brutally honest. “The idea of music leaving this lasting impression always fascinated me. You can always remember why your favorite song hits close to home or why that song brings you to tears. The name HAUNTER fits us perfectly because I wanted to write music that lasted and haunted you in a way.” states Asowata.
Lucy LeNoir (vocals) and Mark Schroeder (guitar) joined the group shortly after and the trio began writing and demoing new material reminiscent of their old emo and metalhead groups…and just as quickly scrapped it. The false start didn’t hinder the band’s momentum and the addition of Mike Ray (guitar/keys) solidified the group’s musical dynamic. While writing and recording their debut single with Smyth at his LA studio, the band found their sound stemmed directly from their collective belief that music is akin to its ability to connect and heal people through shared experience – and from that, HAUNTER was born.
“Illuminate” is now the fifth original from the band, who just a few weeks ago celebrated their one-year anniversary of releasing music. It showcases shimmering, ethereal guitars, paired beautifully with trap-styled percussions, and LeNoir’s signature vocals. It’s a song about love, but not the grand gestures and brazen moments that we’re used to hearing about. Instead, it’s about the quiet moments in a relationship when you realize that you’ve fallen hopelessly in love with your partner. And you know this because something in their gaze just illuminates you.
Right off the bat, an energized hook establishes the tone for the song. Gleaming keys and blazing guitar strums create a charged undercurrent for powerful and glistening vocals. Impassioned tones develop the delicately loved atmosphere around the electrifying lyrics. The feelings described in the lyrics are translated into the production – bold, intense, steadfast- engulfing listeners in this lavish soundscape. Even as the band tunes their sound to more pop sensibilities, their past musical lives still shine through, which means there’s a little bit of everything for their listeners.
The band will continue to record and release music throughout this year and are planning for some live-stream concerts. The group is dedicated to uncompromising pop music and making genuine connections with listeners. So while we eagerly await what’s in store, let’s enjoy “Illuminate.”