“Hunting” – ERNEST ELLIS

With the joyful announcement that Ernest Ellis would be supporting Florence and the Machine on her Sydney shows, great things were expected from his debut album, Hunting. While Ellis travels without much in the way of striking vocals or rock star looks, his album is a small work of cruisy pop brilliance.
The first single, Heading for the Cold impresses with charming irony. A bright Paul Simon vibe is created only to be mixed with cold lyrics and vocals. The resulting track is the perfect soundtrack for a beach trip, where you driving at night, without a smile and wearing a business suit – a fitting sentiment as the album was recorded in the frosty beauty of the Blue Mountains.
One of the many stand out songs, I Am the Beast, loops spoken lyric sample “I am THE!” throughout the mostly instrumental track. The sample contrasts against Ellis’s unassuming voice and highlights just how forgettable Ellis’ vocals are. While this could be a criticism, it also demonstrates the quality of his song writing on this album.
Sleekly mixed, Hunting has a smooth, international sound you wouldn’t expect from a debut. In particular the opening track, Lovers, has no trace of coming from a small farm in Australia and with its tinkering guitar pulses and edgy drums it is a restrained yet tense start to the journey. Further down the track listing,Hunting progresses and glides into warmer, folk-ier sounds, thought loses none of the original allure.
-Kathryn Sullivan