Midlands genre-agnostics Spoort have released the fourth in their 2021 singles series, “Hunt & Gather”. Whereas the previous, “One Day It Will Come”, saw them channelling 2000s indie, this time they go further back in time to late 70s/early 80s mods era, but of course with their own twist. Keys player Kingy says about “Hunt & Gather”:
“Paul made a demo for it and it sounded so massively Specials that we decided to double down on it with the playing, production and then later on the visuals. We put out such a variety of sounds in our tracks that I reckon it’s clear enough that it’s a one-off in terms of direction.”
With a pattering drum and woozy keys inviting us in, the mod influence is clear, but as spiralling guitar that sounds like a cartoony Soviet sound drops on top, we feel like we’re invited to Spoort’s fun house of styles, where they warp, contort and combine all sorts of tones. One minute there’s a ghostly synth line that recalls an undead version of The Specials – a spookiness accentuated by deranged “lalala”s (sung be disembodied heads in the video) – the next we’re back into the bouncing, manically-smiling chorus, and we end up with a children’s choir that appears from nowhere. Lyrically, Paul Cupi returns to one of his favourite topics: man’s neanderthal nature. “We should have stayed in the trees,” he asserts in the opening line, and later, in a picturesquely cryptic verse he sings “Your Easter Island mind / Will get none of mine / Put your statues up / They’re still made of slime.” What it means is open to interpretation, but it seems to us to be a desire to regress to simpler times when all man had to do was “Hunt & Gather” – and is perhaps the direction society is headed as we skid towards apocalyptic climate. With “Hunt & Gather”, Spoort have brought us the unsettlingly jolly soundtrack to our downfall.
The video for “Hunt & Gather” emphasises the mod-ness – and the general weirdness. Watch it below or listen to the song on streaming platforms.