August 2017 Featured Artist: The Hunter Express
Melting Pot puts the spotlight on artists within the community that are doing something special.
Fresh-faced singer/songwriter Brad Ellis, AKA ‘The Hunter Express,’ had begun building a formidable repertoire of original music and an emotionally-charged live act to match. His debut EP ‘Bluestone Lane’ received widespread acclaim from Melbourne’s singer/songwriter community and he has since held a swag of shows including a month-long residency at The Gasometer Hotel.
The Hunter Express embarks on new territory, with his first full-length release currently in the works for an upcoming release,
“I kind of jumped back into the writing process after releasing the EP,” explains Brad “I thought ‘why wait,’ and wrote for about a period of four months, then went and recorded in April this year…”
Given the amount of songs Brad already had under his wing, I was surprised to hear that more writing was the catalyst to jumping into the creation of this new album. When quizzed about the apparent oversupply of material, he insists “I feel like I am in a creative space at the moment. A close friend said: ‘remember that and try and get the most out of it while you can, because it might change…'”
“It’s a little different to the EP,” he admits “There’s elements of, kind of, current, modern sounds… but it also kind of draws on folk, country; those elements, too.” which is the background of The Hunter Express’ initial works and storytelling type vibe.
The recordings are done to tape, a process which Ellis has used in the past, “I spent a bit of time at home and in studios where I felt like it wasn’t truly capturing what it was I wanted to achieve,” he begins when speaking about the process of recording to analogue. He feels that finding the right studio with the right gear has really contributed to the sound, in particular the essence that is still only fully captured by recording first to tape.
With a young family at home, it is amazing to think that Ellis has achieved as much as he has to date, with more music on the way. “It’s almost like it never stops,” he says – regarding fatherhood, family life and being a musician “It keeps everything real, but at the same time as well, I will often find myself working quite late at night when they’re (the children) sleeping, because that’s the only moment I can sometimes get.”
“When I began to take on songwriting and wanted to get more into my music, I was writing stuff that wasn’t really meaning anything to me. It wasn’t until I wrote a song called ‘Home’ were I drew on a lot of my experiences, and a close friend’s as well, I found that people began to connect with it. My writing style on this album… is all about that; there’s stories, and names, and places that kind of weave in and out…”
His writing style and delivery may not be particularly unique, but they certainly hold that real, raw feeling that can take hold of a listener and make them feel that the songs are about them, and the experiences are their own. This connection, as most call it, is something that is far more unique in its undercurrent than the surface.
Following the release of the project’s new album, Brad intends to take The Hunter Express up the East Coast with some dates in New South Wales and Queensland, along with the release of singles to be taken from the record. More writing will eventuate and he has even hinted at wanting to explore collaboration in the near future.
The Hunter Express’ song ‘Driving’ was recorded by us on the day in a stripped-back and intimate setting. You can watch and listen to the song – and the full interview with Brad – via the videos below.
The views expressed in this article are the views of the author and not necessarily the views of Melting Pot.
Author DetailsJosh Forner
Josh Forner is a folk/pop songwriter from Melbourne, Australia and Virginia, USA. Forner was born in Melbourne on July 2 1988, and spent the first 18 months of his life there before moving with his parents to the town of Reston in Virginia, USA. At the age of 3, Forner and his mother returned to Melbourne, where he has stayed ever since.
Josh sings of love, primarily (wow, what a shock right?), but also on his list of ‘hot topics’ are politics, famine, poverty and - of course – landscapes: the folk writer’s favourite.
He’s played with some of Melbourne’s stalwarts including Timothy Cannon, Bridget Pross, Mr Brady, Pro Rata, Gabriel Lynch & Kyle Taylor, and has contributed two of his tracks to non-profit compilation CDs in the past.
Josh’s repertoire continues to grow. He released his first album, a 10-track LP entitled ‘Leading to Nowhere’ at The Workers Club on May 28th, 2013. Forner has since returned to the studio to begin work on a 5-track solo EP to be released by the end of 2013. Following that, he has plans for album number two in 2014.