After years spent honing their craft two songs at a time, Honey Gut share their debut full-length album, Hunter-Gatherer.
Six years ago Fredericton musicians Josh Sangster and Ollie LeBlanc began releasing music together as Honey Gut. To call their approach to writing and releasing music as “slow and steady” would almost be an understatement. Between September of 2016 and August of 2017, Sangster and LeBlanc released two songs each and every month. They named their process Project 45, taking inspiration from the days when the 45 RPM single reigned supreme; a time when songs were written, recorded and then put out into the world without regard for much of anything outside of the music itself and its place in time.
Over the course of the project, Honey Gut explored several influences ranging from the classic rock sounds of the 1970s to 60s folk and blues, never straying too far from the roots of popular music. Looking back at those songs today and the project conceived for their delivery, it would be difficult to find a better example of two musicians honing their craft with such a degree of focus and dedication.
Serving as an introduction, a playground and a classroom, both musicians emerged from Project 45 as confident songwriters and performers. Taking a well earned break following a year of steady releases, the pair took some time to work on other projects, releasing only a handful of songs between 2019 and 2021. But they never stopped writing.
Which brings us to today and the release of Honey Gut’s debut album, Hunter-Gatherer. The album highlights a lot of what the past several years have given Sangster and LeBlanc. Sangster has emerged as a remarkably strong vocalist and songwriter whose contributions on acoustic and electric guitars define much of the album’s melodic direction alongside LeBlanc’s contributions on bass, keys, loops and additional guitar. Drummer Kris Campbell rounds out the core trio Honey Gut with guitarist Ryan Gallen and guest Laura Katherine Perry on keys completing the lineup for this recording.
Hunter-Gatherer is a testament to patience and commitment resulting in a collection of songs that reflect the benefit of time, experience and obvious dedication. Strong arrangements, subtle hooks and well structured songwriting are dominant elements throughout the album’s ten songs with Sangster’s voice and LeBlanc’s production chops helping to lead the way.
From the opening riff of Vagabond through to the closing lines of Please Go, Ego, Hunter-Gatherer is both a solid debut and a full-circle celebration of the creative process.