Flying Fox and the Hunter Gatherers – Hans My Lion

Don’t get me wrong: There is a distinct lack of hose and medieval gallivanting on this album, but nevertheless, what Flying Fox and the Hunter Gatherers’ first full-length album immediately brings to mind is a dark and obscure folk tale with origins somewhere in the 10th century. What does this sound like? Dark and jazzy, salacious and circusy, ravenously passionate pop. The classically trained sextet behind this sound commands instruments such as glockenspiel, guitar, accordion, keyboard, cymbals, violin, trumpet, and saxophone that burst into musical richness inside your brain. Lead vocalist Jesse Krause’s elastic voice growls low and rough at times, but in the next second swoops quivering up the scales. The poetic lyrics are a joy to read. “Nurse” is lewd, dark, and juicy, and contains one of the best moments on the record – a rare moment free of instruments that’s like suddenly being alone in a room with Jekyll who transforms into grinning Hyde. Here, Krause sounds lasciviously desperate and menacingly violent before breaking into full-blown mania. This album is busy – a massive understatement – and it’s sometimes hard to tell where songs begin and end. Listening to this will make you want to run out of your apartment to dance in a fire with woodland animals, caring only about the moment.That’s the spirit of Hans my Lion, and he lives whenever you do. (Head in the Sand, Adrienne Yeung