Hunter Park is a tour de force. Whether touring the country with Rachel Kate Gillon, recording at the Jam Room in Columbia, or gigging around Charleston, she's always on the move. Fortunately, I was able to catch up with her to find out more about the release of her second EP with local Americana darlings She Returns From War.
Photograph by Kyle Victory
Full of delicate melodies punctuated by gut-wrenching lyrics about love and loss, She Returns From War's self-titled second EP is comprised of the kind of tunes that keep you up at night. Park is a storyteller, the type of musician who weaves tales so confessional and familiar in their pain that you're left with that shit-I've-been-there-too feeling—the kind that resonates into the wee hours. Her raspy vocals are perfectly matched with the plaintive vocal stylings of fellow guitarist/singer Jesse Ledford. Rounded out by Charlie King on drums, trio She Returns From War celebrate the release of their newest EP this Saturday, November 15, at the Tin Roof in West Ashley at 9 p.m. I'll let Hunter fill you in on the details.
1. How did you form your current lineup?
"Jesse and I were trying to find a way to expand the sound without sacrificing the idea that built the band. We are both singer-songwriters—there is a lot of trust and care that goes into playing each others songs. A few months ago, Charlie King from PAN (also Jesse's Boo-thing) helped us drumming on this EP. This fit was there. We all get along. It's fun, and we work well together."
2. What are your plans for the new album—touring, vinyl, etc.?
"We are putting this EP out as a taste of what we want to do in the studio for the full record. The EP will be available on vinyl thanks to the tremendous help of Zach Tomas and Greg Slattery from 10 Foot Woody Records. We leave for Savannah on the 18th for a weeklong tour through Georgia and the Upstate. I couldn't be more excited. Playing with some old friends and hopefully making some new ones along the way."
3. You're premiering your new album at Tin Roof—and it's their seventh anniversary. Do you have any special Tin Roof memories? What do you like about performing there?
"Tin Roof was one of the first venues we played as a band. I celebrated my birthday playing a show with Lily Slay, and you and Mollie got me my first Runaround Sue Vintage dress there. They have always worked with us to take care of our musician brothers and sisters on the road. It's a hub for music. It's family. I am thankful we could be a part of the celebration."
4. What your favorite thing about Punks & Snakes, who is opening the show?
"Every single band member of Punks & Snakes is an all-star. The music is like taking your ear hairs to one of those real expensive classic barber shops.
I'm humbled and also pretty stocked to share the bill with my friend Jack Burg. He's always made me feel right at home in the music scene. He's an all-around wicked dude."
Photograph by Kyle Victory
5. As a lifelong Charleston resident, how has our city influenced you as an artist?
"From the old B'zar parties to Kulture Klash and more, I have always been around such incredibly talented artists from all mediums and walks of life. This city thrives off creativity and entertainment. Since I was young, I wanted to be a part of the scene, so very much, and songwriting became my key pretty early on. I can't express how lucky I am to live in a place where people work together to make big things happen. I have always found so much support and goodness pouring out of Charleston. It makes every day pretty exciting."
6. What would be your perfect Charleston day?
"Being able to spend a good bit of the day on a porch around friends. Ideally ending the day with a little bit of a buzz and some damn fine music."