Press & Music Reviews
"When Conor and the Wild Hunt’s new album You’re Not Alone came to my email inbox, I had no idea it would be exactly what I needed to hear. Lead by Conor Brendan’s inspired songwriting and vocals, this inspiring collection is full of emotion and positive messaging that strikes a poignant chord in these trying times. It’s also possible that I am nine months pregnant, extremely hormonal, and susceptible to falling hard for vocally driven folk-pop (The Ghost of Paul Revere, Fleet Foxes), but I fell utterly in love with You’re Not Alone and I have a feeling you will, too.
Funny enough the album’s sound immediately took me back to my indie/emo days and reminded me of the emotive sounds of the little known Daphne Loves Derby, albeit with a much more lush and layered sound. The soaring four-part harmonies are my favorite part of these polished acoustic songs. The album starts with the upbeat harmonica and harmonies of “Eliza,” into the sweet sounds of love song “Garden State.” “Dear Mary” treats you to the female vocals of [Paty Sevener] dueting with Conor, along with more harmonies and loving lyrics singing of promises a lover makes to his family. Many of the songs bring me close to tears — most of which unsurprisingly is “Broken Hearted Lullaby” with lyrics about a woman singing “don’t you worry, little baby, we’ll be alright” to the baby in her belly. The title track “You’re Not Alone” is appropriately the most cinematic of tracks, an emphatic anthem singing “I see you, I hear you, I’m with you, you’re not alone.” The building of impassioned drumming, guitar and vocals builds to triumphant heights that will take your breath away. The rest of the album continues similarly with rousing harmonies, foot-stomping beats and upbeat harmonica to keep you smiling. They even break the unspoken rule to never cover “Wagon Wheel” with enough inspired vocals and respect for the original that it might be my new favorite version of the song.
Conor and the Wild Hunt’s album You’re Not Alone is a feel-good collection of songs from front to back. Their folk/Americana is driven by a vivid emotion not often heard accompanying the traditional acoustic instruments. An album of lullabies and love songs, You’re Not Alone is perfect for a quiet morning or a twilight drive, and I imagine their live performances are just as moving. Listen to the album now on Spotify or on their website."
-Elise Olmstead (Music Journalist at The Jamwich)
"The first album of this folk/Americana/pop band has arrived at a time needed for positive vibes. In the line of the best of Mumford and Sons but with an upbeat direction and a more constant structure on their songs, Conor & The Wild Hunt combines different styles tastefully and with the passion always present. Folk in their nature, the songs take you into many territories: the epic, the feel-good, the uplifting, the sensitive, and the intimate. The band feels solid and very musical with a healthy quote of youthful energy that is infectious with its driving emotion that comes from their probably, unpolluted hearts.
“Dear Mary” struck me hard at first listen when the voice of Paty Sevener appeared out of the blue. Immediately I wanted more of her voice. The lead singer Conor Brendan has a nice quality in its voice: rounded, sweet, polished, and soulful. The combined textures of his voice and a female singer is a winning formula. It reminded me of duets such as The Magic Numbers, Johny Cash & June Carter and, Dolly Parton & Port Wagoner.
The album is filled with light and high energy songs, most of them up-tempo. It’s not until track 11 that the slower “Carry Us Home” arrived with its subtlety and whispery sound. I would prefer it was sooner because some calm helps to perceive music at its best. As our overloaded brains need a rest from time to time, “Carry Us Home” is very welcome. The band sounds effortless and comfortable in slow ballads, they should venture more into them. Especially considering that not only faster songs resonate with the audience, mostly when we are talking about acoustic music. It feels good not hearing a loop, synth, or any type of non-acoustic instrument for a change.”Great Blue Sea” works just fine with no artifices added. A nice fingerpicking acoustic guitar in the style of Jim Croce and a soft and expressive vocal is all that we need here. On the last track comes “I Long To Rewind”, a true sensitive slow-paced ballad in a solo piano that surprises with its beauty, and it’s a good choice to end this rich album. This tune is like balsam to the ears after listening to rhythmic songs, filled with great arrangements but sometimes a little crowded. The banjo and harmonica need to rest for a while. This beautiful ballad shows that sometimes the song itself is enough, regardless of how many lines of arrangements and instruments you put on it.
“You’re Not Alone” seems to be their latest recorded track. You can feel that the concept of the recording and direction of the band moved to a different path, a more polished and mature one. Although I loved the roughness and immediacy of the first tracks, I consider this is a smart move. The band’s sound still keeps the essence of folk but now with added elements of modern epic pop, kind of King of Leon, Snow Patrol, and some hints of Cold Play. As a film composer, I can see “You’re Not Alone” working perfectly in many movies with its epicness and broad sound. I really loved that song and how well was produced. It has all the ingredients that a great song needs to stand out in this crowded industry.
This band promises to have a brighter future if their goals are well defined. They can become a successful independent folk band but I see them soon heading to the road for a wider audience without losing their souls and sacrificing their vision and musicianship in the way. They seem to have the skills of self-judgment and wise criteria to evolve fast in the direction they desire besides their musicianship and talents. The more I hear the album, the more I get hooked to it. It has its colorful world and much to say, something that is lacking in music these days. I’m happy to get across bands like Conor & The Wild Hunt which brings me back the hope that not all is lost."
-Guillermo Guareschi (Music Journalist at Music Album Reviews)
"This incredible masterpiece “Ghosts” from Conor & The Wild Hunt, is going to leave you stuck on repeat for a long long time. There is an amazing and solid level of songwriting that shines up through this song and the vocal performance is incredibly professional. We have enjoyed listening to their vocals until the last second, and our favorite part is when the bridge picks up smoothly to reach an explosive and anthemic chorus at 2:35. The melodies are so beautiful and the production work is polished and smart. The song draws a new atmosphere and emotion with every listens. Such a wonderful piece of art!"
-Cheers for the Vikings
"Voici une énième chanson de Noël, mais elle est magnifique et c’est cela qui fait la différence. Pourtant l’histoire que raconte cette chanson n’est pas forcément liée à Noël, cela parle du moment où Conor a manquer le dernier Bus pour Baltimore après un concert à New York.
Petite ballade pop folk, un bon titre qui s’écoute et qui laisse une agréable sensation, celle de vouloir rappeler ses meilleurs amis.
L’instrumentation est jolie, la réalisation est soignée et ce titre mérite presque d’être dans l’épisode de Noël d’un sitcom à la mode. On a apprécié la voix qui n’est pas trop dans le surjeu et qui transmet assez bien les émotions.
Le titre s’écoute sans peine et on a comme un flash back de toutes ces soirées seuls dans le froid à penser à des êtres qu’on aime qui ne reviendront plus, du moins ce que la vie à cette instant laissait présager."
"Here is yet another Christmas song, but it’s beautiful and that’s what makes the difference. The story this song tells isn’t necessarily about Christmas, but about when Conor missed the last Bus to Baltimore after a concert in New York.
A little pop folk ballad, this is a good song that you can listen to and that leaves a pleasant feeling, that of wanting to call back your best friends.
The instrumentation is pretty, the execution is neat and this song almost deserves to be in the Christmas episode of a hip sitcom. We appreciated the voice which is not too overbearing and which conveys emotions quite well.
The track is easy to listen to and gives a flashback to all those evenings alone in the cold thinking of people we love who we don’t think are coming back."
-Julien James Vachon (Music Journalist at Direct Actu)