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Ear to the Sound: Bug Hunter

 Bug Hunter. [Photo: Tony Hammons]

Bug Hunter. [Photo: Tony Hammons]

Here's a life hack for you: Some day soon, you'll fall in love with the songs of Seattle-based band, Bug Hunter. Save yourself some time, and get to know their music now. The band is solidly built on gifted songwriting and great music, and with their new release, The Rough Draft, they have an extremely well-produced album that is destined to make them an even wider fan base. Make no mistake. This album is no rough draft, it's a turning point for Bug Hunter---a band on the rise.

The songs are immediately likeable. You'll be hooked on your first listen, and not long after that, you'll be humming along. The Rough Draft is filled with clever lyrics and choruses that feel instantly catchy and compelling. But the real strength of the album isn't just their sharp songwriting, it's the way that---for all of their thoughtfulness--the songs also make you feel very deeply. The Rough Draft isn't just a great album, it's a really moving experience. At first glance, the one two punch of the band is their astute lyrics and high instant likeability, but the lingering emotional experience conveyed by The Rough Draft will make you feel connected with their music, and that's the real achievement of this release.

 Bug Hunter, “The Rough Draft”.

Bug Hunter, “The Rough Draft”.

There's a lot to love and a lot to talk about this album, but none of it should overshadow the simple bottom line that this is incredible music. Bug Hunter have a distinctive sound and a compelling, cohesive voice as a band---combining a lot of varied acoustic and pop influences and distilling their inspirations while adding iconoclastic songwriting. Big kudos should go out to engineer, Dylan Fant; guitarist, Mohamed Hussein; and all of the other musicians who contributed to The Rough Draft. There's no group out there that sounds quite like them, but after listening to this album, you'll wonder why that is. 

There are some really insightful self-reflections on the album, with self-effacing, deeply wise lyrics that you'll want to hear over and over again. In an era where lyrics are fading from the focus for many bands, The Rough Draft emphatically makes the point that the words still matter. The main songwriter for the band, Cody Hunter, who goes by the nickname "Bug", may be one of the best lyricists in our region or beyond. No other bands out there are doing thoughtful, self-reflective pop this well.

It's not surprising that Bug Hunter's music is gaining such a devoted, worldwide fan base. In a time where it's easy to feel lost among the ever-expanding crowds of people around us, Bug Hunter writes songs that ruminate honestly on what it's like to be insecure, to love, and to fail in a world where we're all increasingly measured against each other. Writing such deeply self-aware songs without the opacifying lens of ego is an achievement in and of itself, but the new album goes far beyond that challenge and combines self-discovery with an impressive musical journey infused with plenty of humor and humanity.

In summary, The Rough Draft is the best effort so far from Bug Hunter, and an easy record to fall in love with. The album is due out on November 20th. And don't miss the album release show on December 8th at The High Dive with Happy Heartbreak and Stephanie Mae. [Note: We incorrectly stated that the album release show would be at The Sunset. We’ve corrected that.]

 Bug Hunter. [Photo: Scott Baerst]

Bug Hunter. [Photo: Scott Baerst]