September 19, 2018 by 1888media
Prophesied for thousands of years, the Mayans predicted the world would end in 2012. It did though The Maya did not speak of the end of the world; specifically they said that everything transforms, that the only thing which remains is the spirit, in its journey of evolution toward higher levels.
What they didn’t realize is that the journey would have a soundtrack, one colored with dark hues from an astral vortex, the genesis of an emotionally-charged, genre-bending alt rock waveform forging a path for the wayward Earth.
Welcome to The Haunt.
Fronted by 15-year old, Anastasia Grace, who’s beguiling presence adds an air of mystery to the proceedings, she’s flanked by her 19-year old brother, Maxamillion, who shares vocal duties while shaping the sonic direction of their exposition. Musically interconnected their whole lives, the dynamic duo have been performing live for the past six years, with initial writing for their debut EP commencing in early 2015. Out of these sessions came the song that instantaneously cemented their status as a force to be reckoned with, the searing gothic mysticism of “All Went Black.”
Maxamillion recalls, “Since Anastasia was bullied in middle school, one of our passions has always been standing up for people in situations who might not be the most popular or easily accepted. All Went Black stood with that passion.” The sentiment is echoed by Anastasia, “Originally, we began to make and share music for us to escape our own lives. But when we saw the effect it had on people, it became a channel to connect.”
Penned by Anastasia at age 12, its hypnotic refrain, “Where did you go, Are you coming back, Where did you go when it all went black,” is a stunning outcry against abandonment and the resulting darkness of being left behind by those we love. It doesn’t just leave a mark. It deposits a scar, but don’t be afraid of the dark because even in the depth of the night, there is light. A singular voice, brimming with soul, subconsciously encourages you to never let go, that strength built from moments of weakness will help console the hole in your soul.
The corresponding visual, directed by Chris Hill, known for his groundbreaking video for Cut Copy’s “Free Your Mind,” which starred True Blood’s Alexander Skarsgard, crystalized their vision as a school bus overrun by a frenetic monster-mask masquerade epitomizes the cataclysm. Its cinematography singes as the anxiety unhinges.
In conjunction with the video release, which went viral, quickly amassing 100,000 views, the group partnered with the Stop Bullying Now Foundation to help contribute to putting an end to the epidemic of bullying among today’s youth, empowering them through counseling, life skills training, open communication, and creative outlets.
Understanding the depth of The Haunt is to dig beneath the surface. Drawing from an eclectic palette of influences such as Twenty One Pilots, Cage The Elephant, Lumineers, Jack White and Billie Holiday, their self-titled EP is a whirling dervish of the ups and downs of two young souls navigating convergent and divergent roles. Merging bits of Alternative, Indie, Rock and Roll, Garage, and Blues, the expedition is an evenly spilt half dozen.
Broken into Side A and Side B, the adventure begins with “Brat,” an instantly infectious floor-shaker that recalls the best of Catfish & the Bottlemen and Bad Suns. From there, it’s a sibling tour-du-force as Ana and Max effortlessly trade vocal lines on the voyeuristic vamp of “Dirty.” The duo then flirt with an Addams-family style bassline on the gothic “Streets & Lies,” which brims with undertones of Bauhaus, My Chemical Romance and Siouxsie and the Banshees, before prowling the dark recesses on the subconscious on “Get Away,” with its hair-raising bloodletting of “Get away pain, I will rise to the sky and wave goodbye to the people who let their whole lives pass by.”
It’s this sentiment that resurfaces in the frayed majesty of “Bullet,” The Haunt‘s emotional centerpiece. It’s a devastatingly beautiful ballad that builds slowly from sparse instrumentation to a sweeping conclusion, both, literally and figuratively, as her ethereal yearning eclipses a shattered rainbow, “Running, I keep running off. Help me, I can never slow.” Xune Magazine christened Anastasia’s powerful range as “a young Florence Welch with far more attitude.”
Produced by Joshua Diaz and Maxamillion Haunt, the resultant excursion is an apt beginning to the textural journey ahead, one that explores all facets, and varied faces, of the human condition. Recorded in their home base of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, this portrait is the product of many late nights, early mornings, arguments, celebrations, and learning to love something that doesn’t always love you back.
In person, The Haunt want reciprocation. Stemming from their familial bond and their all-for-one, against-all-odds belief, they strive to build a meaningful rapport with their fanbase. In concert, they faithfully recreate their evocative songs, with note-for-note clarity, encouraging an openness to immerse your senses and feel it with every cell in your being.
Channeling the likes of Karen O, Cat Power, Shirley Manson, Amy Lee (of Evanescence), Lorde and the ghost of Nina Simone, Anastasia is an indisputable talent, her powerful voice able to command your undivided attention. With a telepathic counterbalance from Maxamillion, and a steadfast rhythm section, the quartet embodies the essence of spontaneous combustion as they exploded onto the scene, quickly building a ‘ride or die’ following before embarking on their first national tour in early 2018.
The due diligence and allegiance to excellence is paying off. Lauded in the pages of Atwood Magazine, Broward New Times, and Miami New Times, and championed for a spirited performance on the NBC Morning Show in Miami, the group was personally invited by Saigon Kick frontman Jason Bieler to partake in a special fundraising concert for the families and victims affected by the shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Next up is a 42-city voyage with glam rock buzz band Palaye Royale which will see the band blaze venues in Europe in early fall before jumping back across the pond for a full North American run.
UK/European Tour Dates
09/24 — Berlin, Germany @ Musik & Frieden
09/25 — München, Germany @ Feierwerk
09/27 — Paris, France @ Super Sonic
09/28 — Köln, Germany @ MTC
09/29 — Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Melkweg Up
09/30 — Brussels, Belgium @ AB Club
10/02 — Glasgow, UK @ King Tuts
10/03 — Manchester, UK @ Academy3
10/05 — London, UK @ KOKO
North American Tour Dates
10/24 — San Diego, CA @ Voodoo Room at House of Blues
10/25 — Phoenix, AZ @ The Rebel Lounge
10/26 — Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey Theatre
10/28 — Denver, CO @ The Oriental Theater
10/30 — San Antonio, TX @ Alamo Music Hall
10/31 — Dallas, TX @ Trees
11/01 — Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live (Studio)
11/02 — Pensacola, FL @ Vinyl Music Hall
11/03 — Spartanburg, SC @ Ground Zero
11/04 — Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
11/05 — Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
11/06 — Cincinnati, OH @ Bogart’s
11/07 — Pittsburgh, PA @ Foxtail
11/09 — Worcester, MA @ Palladium
11/10 — Hartford, CT @ Webster
11/11 — Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts
11/12 — New York, NY @ Gramercy Theatre
11/14 — Toronto, ON @ Opera House
11/15 — Montréal, QC @ Le Ministere
11/16 — Syracuse, NY @ The Lost Horizon
11/17 — Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom
11/18 — Chicago, IL @ Metro
11/19 — Detroit, MI @ Loving Touch
11/20 — Milwaukee, WI @ Rave
11/21 — Minneapolis, MN @ Skyway
11/23 — Edmonton, AB @ The Rec Room
11/24 — Calgary, AB @ The Legion
11/26 — Vancouver, BC @ Rickshaw
11/27 — Seattle, WA @ El Corazon
11/28 — Portland, OR @ Bossanova Ballroom
11/30 — San Francisco, CA @ Slim’s
12/01 — Sacramento, CA @ Holy Diver
12/02 — Pomona, CA @ Glasshouse
On the coattails of the cross-continental trek is the premiere of a 4K concert extravaganza filmed for Comcast Xfinity that will air On Demand to 24 million homes. And it’s only the beginning.
The Haunt is a fast moving train that has a single destination. Emancipation. Hear that sound. It’s the sound of disintegration. Freedom from expectations.
Remember the feeling you had when you first experienced sublimity. Your eyes rolled back and all went black.
Don’t be silent. Be vigilant. Live life to the max.