By Zoë Blake-James, Third Year English
Sat in my bed, with the lights off and headphones on, a euphonious blend of gritty guitar and soulful vocals wash over me. One song melts into the next and the stories told are so mesmerisingly palpable, that I feel as though I could reach out and touch a fragment of the melancholy poured into the heartfelt words. I hear for the first time the understated power of the lyrics, “And I love you forever but I wish you knew better at times.” ('Girlfriend in the Band').
I listen as they are cleverly uplifted yet contrasted by the vibrant energy of the lead guitar, in a way that speaks to the duality of human nature the band wish to encapsulate. In the dark of my room, shut off from the outside world and immersed in this new experience, I’ve discovered the magical spin on indie-pop that is HUNNY BUZZ.
It was little intricacies such as these that initially drew me in and, now never wanting to leave, compelled me a year on to speak with Lyd Read, Rowan Barfoot, Bill Pedrick and Ewan Base from the emerging Bristol band. In particular, HUNNY BUZZ’s latest song, 'Deli Man', is truly a testament to the band’s fun and fresh approach to all things indie-pop; this time with newer elements of country folk, but nonetheless still holding a strong message that we see across all of their tracks.
“I write about personal things because it’s my therapy and an outlet for my thoughts,” lead vocalist Lyd explains, as she discusses the vulnerability that can come with touching upon modern struggles. “I also know that lots of people go through stuff too and that that’s just part of life; my lyrics could help someone, or connect with someone.” The gliding, almost ethereal sound distortions that float in the background of 'Deli Man' alongside the everchanging, driving rhythm of the drums, give the sensation of a tide ebbing and flowing.
Lyd’s voice is a current of emotion that pulls you in and challenges you to stay, to listen to her starkly relatable lines, “And I may have no job, but at least I’m well. / And I don’t have no money but that’s fine for twenty-one, right? / And you don’t have a clue in your small-mind world / And heaven forbid I’m not nothing like you.” Her defiance in the face of modern issues crests with a question that pierces right through to the listener, engaging and reassuring them. Connecting with this message feels easy, as you gradually become swept up by the waves of energy that HUNNY BUZZ exude through their music.
The band’s liveliness and pastel guitar themes perhaps have Andy Ghosh’s (guitarist from Turbowolf) words of wisdom to thank for. Lead guitarist Rowan Barfoot muses on the advice he learnt, such that the most important thing is to create something new out of the inspiration he takes from music idols and to always keep things fun. This playful and artistic side to the band is reflected in their whimsical music videos which also dual with the melancholic nature of the lyricism, taking you on a journey to the heart of the band’s image. Pastel colours, dynamic melodies and words from the heart; where most would shy from this combination, HUNNY BUZZ flourish under it. Their connection as a group is clear to see across this coherence and their strengths most certainly lie in the fact that “there is so much passion and emotion between the four of [them].” “The dynamic between us sometimes feels unexplainable; we are like family. We know each other so well emotionally and musically,” the band continues. “We simply write songs because we love getting together and seeing what new ideas and sounds we can get out of one another.”
Bristol-based promoters Alpaca Presents are the foundations of the band’s growth, allowing them unique opportunities to play with desired artists, release the music they’ve worked on and even feature on BBC Radio 1. Alpaca Presents feel grateful and inspired to be part of such a great scene and it is by all means easy to share their excitement for the talent that this young Bristolian band promises. The future is certainly bright for HUNNY BUZZ, who continue to channel their fun energy not only into their songs, but also through their fanbase and stage presence, whether it is underground at a sold-out night at The Louisiana by Bristol’s harbourside, or out in the open air of Oxfordshire’s Truck festival. The group’s presence on Spotify, Instagram, YouTube (and more) is vibrant and unmissable, much like their persona – “good photo shoots, reels and posters that catch the eye all seem to help as well!” Rowan jokes.
HUNNY BUZZ has plenty more to come this year, with their next single being released around January 2024. Having just completed their first UK tour, they are absolutely buzzed to announce their next one in the upcoming year, where they will be promoting the release of their debut EP Pacific Wax!
Featured Image: Courtesy of the artist
Have you listened to HUNNY BUZZ?