After the release of several singles, Austin post-punk Haunt Me have released their captivating six-song mini album/EP, Wish You Were Here.
The languid voice of vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Darius Davila invokes at various times The Smiths, Dirty Beaches, Richard Hawley, Magnetic Fields, and The Monochrome Set; but their instrumentation sets them apart, bringing in elements from everything to surf rock guitar and shoegaze, to the spooky echoing distortions of darkwave and goth. They straddle the line between the mesmerizing and the sinister, evoking indescribable emotions with their complex instrumentation.
Their signature jangly indie-pop belies wistful, bittersweet subject matter. The exquisite agony of long-distance relationships are addressed in the emotional “Please Stay”:
“This song is written from the perspective of someone in a bit of a long-distance relationship or in a situation where they can’t see their significant other very often. And this someone is in love with a person and dreads being away from them and dreads when their significant other has to leave back to their home which is far away. I think anyone who has ever had an amazing day with their partner and never wanted it to end will be able to strongly relate to this song. Because in a situation like that, you want that perfect moment with that special person to last forever.”
The title track continues the theme of the anguish of missing someone with “Wish You Were Here”, a sweeping torrent of heartfelt emotion, driven by a reverie of jangly indie rock, post-punk, and dream pop.
The next song “Dopamine” delves into the underworld of inescapable and unbridled passions, the revelry of nightlife, and the addicting nature of romance…with an overt reference to Roxy Music.
I need a rush of dopamine
Cause I just want to feel to feel something
You set my heart on fire like you’re kerosene
If our love is a drug then I am just a fiend
“My Apocolypse” is a brooding bedroom dirge, led by a stumbling bassline accented with rolling shocks of guitar, juxtaposed with lyrics that churn with dark romance lamenting the healing and destructive forces of love.
“Russian Doll” is a more uptempo number, propelled by a spirited guitar melody and breezy synths, conjuring melancholy and joy as the song serenades the song’s titular matryoshka.
The record closes out with the brilliant “You’re My Favorite Work of Art”, which continues the courtship of the previous song’s Russian Doll, but which more caution thrown to the wind as it unfurls its maelstrom of melody and plaintive vocals, completing a cohesive narrative across the EP’s six Saudade-drenched tracks.
Haunt Me’s Wish You Were Here is a remarkable collection of songs certain to stir the listener with a profound sense of longing.
Purchase the EP here and listen below:
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