The Lonely Hunter was a small record store in an ancient street in Leiden, a small town in the Netherlands, where I once bought the Stones’ Exile On Main St. and The Best Of Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels LP. I had to think about that when I saw that Hemi Hemingway’s debut EP is called The Lonely Hunter. For this story it would have been nice if the 6 songs on the mini-album had influences from the mentioned bands, but that’s not really the case. This is an ode to the sound of 50’s doo-wop and 60’s girl groups that fans of Shannon Shaw’s Shannon in Nashville or RF Shannon’s Trickster Blues will appreciate.
Hemi Hemingway is a project of London based New Zealander Shaun Blackwell, in which he’s part heartbroken crooner, part emotional explorer. This is sad but beautiful music, melancholic and cinematic, poetic and intriguing. The self-penned songs may be even stronger than Move Over Darling, the only cover on the record (originally recorded by Doris Day). And wow, he played everything himself except the saxophone. The EP takes its name from Carson McCullers’ 1940 novel The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter. That also applied to the Dutch record store, which had the full title on its facade. So the link I made turns out to be logical after all.
Out now digitally and on vinyl 12″ through PNKSLM Recordings. Add to wantlist: Bandcamp