Hunter Deblanc’s new single Sydney begins in earnest with an unassuming piano riff and percolating synth stylings, until the stadium kick enters and Hunter’s vocal starts and gives us a more beseeching tone: ‘Forgive me,’ the opening line states. From here on in this request somehow gets lost amid the assailing drums and recurrent funk guitar jabs but becomes something else altogether: one anthemic helping of unabashed pop. The combination of Hunter’s voice and the sonic landscape that surrounds it reminds us of Owl City, Bastille and to a lesser degree, The 1975, but Hunter’s amalgamation of direct lyric, swirling harmonies and buoyant melodic dexterity is a pretext. The song’s true radiance doesn’t emanate from the blitzing rush of the production but the melancholic undertones of Hunter’s narrative, the sorrowful avowals dressed in a masterful disguise of sing along at the top of lungs pop. This technique of Trojan Horsing the more important motive in a song is a testament to an artist’s writing brinkmanship. As well as all that, the song is quite obviously a perfect fit for radio, across the board. And that’s not only because of the city name-checking, but it also ticks a substantial number of compartmental boxes that should satisfy music lovers and playlist programmers alike: electronic, dance, pop, indie, rock. And speaking of name dropping, giving us such a tune with its imploring heart on its sleeve, and then calling it Sydney, is a good indication of the temerity of the artist; and we like that, along with our main fare of a well-written pop song.
top of page
bottom of page