The Haunt is an exciting young band out of Florida. The Haunt is 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, and prowls the dark recesses on the subconscious on “Get Away,” which its hair-raising vocal 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."