Indie-pop/post-punk band The Haunt introduces their EP, Social Intercourse, and “Permanent,” a track lifted from the EP. Anastasia Grace and Maxamillion Haunt comprise The Haunt's nucleus and Nick Lewert (drums, piano, backing vocals) and Natalie Smallish (bass).
Hailing from South Florida, The Haunt exploded on the scene in 2017, releasing “All Went Black,” a song about Grace’s encounters with bullying, followed by “Cigarettes and Feelings” and “Why Are You So Cold?” At once elegant, visceral, and edgy, The Haunt’s sound embraces avant-garde lyricism blended with potent, compelling post-punk melodies, simultaneously imaginative and groundbreaking.
Encompassing six tracks, the EP begins with “Brag About,” travelling on thick, muscular guitars topped by Anastasia’s deliciously formidable voice, reminiscent of Paramore’s Hayley Williams. Highlights include “Wish You Stayed,” surging with brawny colours and stellar rumbling percussion. “Love You Better” rides gleaming guitars backed by massive subterranean tones and then ramps up to an intoxicating wall-of-sound as Anastasia’s voice mounts with merciless intensity.
“Permanent” opens on gleaming piano notes topped by Grace’s dangerously inflected voice, bewitching and portentous. On the chorus, the harmonics mousse up to heavy dark resonance – throbbing on viscous colours as radiant, echoing harmonies infuse the tune with spectral textures. Social Intercourse reinforces The Haunt as one of post-rock’s tour de forces.
XS Noize spoke briefly with Anastasia and Maxamillion about “Permanent” and Social Intercourse.
How did The Haunt get together?
It's always funny when we get asked this question because we're siblings, so we grew up in the same house... so we met when she was born, LOL. When Anastasia was about 9 years old, she started taking vocal lessons and singing at local open mics. She would always make me sit on the stage (doing nothing) while she sang. I guess it was for moral support, LOL. But after a while, I decided that I should start performing with her, so I picked up a guitar. That's how The Haunt started. After that, we started playing with Nat and Nick, our bassist and drummer, and now here we are. - Max
What inspired your new single, “Permanent”?
My mother once said to me that time heals all wounds, and it sounds a little cliche, but it really resonated with me.
Like, when you’re hurt and going through something, it can be tough to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I just realized that it’s so important to remember that things won’t always feel that way.
So guess it’s that feeling that inspired me to write 'Permanent.' - Anastasia.
What’s your songwriting process? Melody first, or lyrics?
It's always different; sometimes I write the lyrics first, sometimes it's the melody. There's no real process for it; it's kind of. However, the song comes to us. For this song, I wrote the lyrics first to vent about what I was going through. After that, I wrote the chords and melody, and then a lot of the instrumentation came to fruition in the studio with Matt Good. - Anastasia
What do you hope your fans/listeners take away with them when they listen to your music?
The first song we released was called “All Went Black.” I wrote that when I was getting bullied in school at around 12 years old. Writing music helped me find my voice and allowed me to connect with people my age who were going through the same types of things. I always want to help those people know that they're not alone and that it always gets better. We've always stood against bullying and making people feel lesser. The EP title Social Intercourse runs in that same vein. We want people to talk to one another and truly understand each other, rather than shutting themselves off from ideas they don't understand. - Max and Anastasia
You have a new EP releasing April 9. What can you share about it?
To engage in Social Intercourse, one must consider the other individual to be significant. This situation can be expressed through shared music, laughter, or deep and meaningful conversation. We decided to call the album “Social Intercourse” because of the internal struggles that we all face, trying to exist in the world how it is right now. Also, releasing an EP during a pandemic is fucking weird! - Max and Anastasia
Listen to 'Social Intercourse' - BELOW: