Expect the unexpected from South Florida band The Haunt, who deliver a different sound from song to song based on their punk, blues, industrial, and pop influences centred around soulful, powerful vocals.
The band is largely built around siblings Anastasia (vocals and piano) and Max (vocals, guitar and piano) with the assistance of Nick Lewert (drums and piano) and Nat Smallish (bass).
As Max explains: “We started playing music together around the time Anastasia was 11 years old. Neither of our parents are musicians, but our house was a very musical place. There was never a time where our parents weren’t blasting music throughout the house. I think that had a big influence on us being open to all styles of music, which most likely gave us our genre-bending sound.
“We noted at a very early age that Anastasia had a crazy voice and there was basically nothing else she wanted to do so we all pretty much just rallied around her created this thing.”
Their most recent track Cigarettes and Feelings opens up with light guitars under dual vocals between Anastasia and Max, who takes over as the guitars pick up a notch.
The light verses give way to a mellow but catchy chorus “Afterglow, sitting on the park bench, High with you, waiting for the sun to smile on everyone, Cigarettes and Feelings keep me, Laughing when everything is all fucked up, I see rainbows when I think of us, Its all a dream, Cigarettes and feelings, you and me.” Check it out below:
A personal favourite track is Why Are You So Cold?, which was also released last year. It’s a little more edgy, dark and rocky with synth sounds in support of Anastasia’s engaging vocals.
It opens up with a lingering synth sound, then slow stabbing guitars under Anastasia’s vocals. Drawn-out guitars come in as the vocals intensify then it bursts into a huge chorus. That feeds into an intriguing second verse led by Anastasia’s powerful vocals and leads into another big chorus.
A livelier guitar lick over stabbing synth sounds continues under repeated vocals “Fall back, fall back, fall back” and a big high-pitched cry. Then impressive high-pitched vocals that start “Maybe if we met in another year, Maybe in another life you’d be able hear, The words I couldn’t formulate to get you home, Maybe if you were different we wouldn’t be so…” and feed into a huge chorus to close the track out. Check it out below:
And for another spectrum of The Haunt’s musical split personality, check out the upbeat, more punky feeling Brat below:
And take a listen to the eerie, haunting Bullet to discover just how awesome Anastasia’s voice is, with some searing high-pitched vocals:
The band draw influence from the likes of Jack White and The White Stripes, Amy Winehouse and Royal Blood. As Max tells us: “Our parents raised us on a lot of 90s Hip Hop, and 70s and 90s Rock music, so bands from those eras are really important to us too.”
And their music acts as an escape from any bad experiences they go through. As Max explains: “When Anastasia first started writing, it was an outlet for the terrible bullying that she experienced through middle school, which created our first single All Went Black.
“Now, we write when we are overwhelmed with emotion, positive or negative. It’s become our outlet, and our escape from the world. We always try to keep anti-bullying and inclusiveness as a main theme in our music, because it’s something that hit very close to home for us.”
There’s plenty more to come from the band, including new music and a chance to see them live, Covid-19 dependent. Max tells us: “We have a 6-song EP recorded and ready to be released, and we’re currently recording the follow up album to that one as we speak, so definitely expect new music this year. Keep your eye out for lots of upcoming shows, we’re working on tour dates for the US, Canada and Europe for 2020!”