Hunter Chorus are about to release what’s going to be their sophomore effort in the form of The Boy Ain’t Right. a 7-song collection of imaginatively-arranged acoustic guitar compositions, tastefully enhanced by supportive ensemble playing is a sonic haven for a world reeling from the divisiveness of the current political and cultural climate. On a personal note, these songs are also a sanctuary for guitarist-composer Ramon Fermin. They reflect his disillusionment and escape from his classical guitar career, and, musically, the gentle textures here are a welcomed respite to soothe an inner ear condition which makes him ultra-sensitive to heavy music frequencies.
“I wanted to make music that invites people in right off the bat, versus music that punches them in the face,” laughs The San Mateo-based artist. “There’s nothing wrong with loud or aggressive music—I’ve previously written heavier music—but, with this record, I wanted to create a space for people to breathe.”
The all-instrumental album features evocative compositions that unfold in the grand power ballad tradition. These are, at their core, folkloric fingerstyle acoustic guitar pieces for fans of melodic indie music. Here, Ramon draws on his rich background in classical guitar music, as well as his sideman career and alternative rock roots. The musicians joining Ramon are from his community of trusted friends and collaborators. These players include his wife Elyse Ader on viola; his childhood friend Pat Murphy on bass; Hilary Lewis on violin; Ben Boye on piano and keyboards; and Jason Slota on drums. The recordings are from-the-floor live takes featuring intuitive ensemble interplay, and engaging studio ambience. “I wanted this album to have a soft, organic, living room feel with all the funny little imperfections that come about in the process of just throwing it together,” Ramon shares.
In this regard, we are thrilled to share the new single “Warpaint,” which perfectly captures all of this distinctions of the album in the manner in which the songs complement one another to produce an exceptionally complex work which encompasses a plurality of influences in a cohesive, yet experimental work.
About the song, Ramon comments “We built a groove around an acoustic guitar riff, and Elyse took the lead melody. Later on, while Elyse and Hilary did some overdubs, I layered a fuzzed out electric guitar bed in the background – voyeuristically listening in on their musical conversation and trying to mess with them with my nonsensical guitar bullshit poking out of the cracks. During the coda of the song – the part when you can hear them laughing and talking about what they’re gonna play – we actually just recorded the practice take and used it on the record – laughter, conversation and all. Ben Boye added a rhodes part from his home in LA, including a classic solo that really drove the tune home for me. The dialogue between Elyse and I at the top of the track was lifted from the original phone demo recording we made from home to share the song with the band before going in to record.”