Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
Sometime in the next few minutes, Van Hunt is going to take you on a fever dream like you've never been on before. It's going to involve Prince administering your drugs. He will be in charge of turning up the heat and then removing you from it - constantly changing the boiling point and constantly changing anything that could have been considered an equilibrium or a safe zone. Just when you get used to a temperature, it takes off like a rocket in the other direction. It's unnerving, but when Prince and some sexy (sometimes bullying) guitars are running the show, it goes down fairly easily. We're not sure why the hallucinogenic episodes seem so many in Van Hunt songs, but there's one right there and there's another. You're paranoid that you're the only one hearing this - as you see the table warp distortedly or the chair bust out into an army of beetles and come charging at you. You're sure you're not imagining any of this.
Van Hunt slow jams you, spinning you baby around the ballroom, feet scratching along the marble floor, feeling the elegance of a hot breathed cooing. He'll break it down, catch you in the trough of a lull and call it something like The Great Debate Between The Delusions And The Grandeur. He'll let you sashay there for a little while, the moments passing as they will, as lights, colors and blitzing, writhing faces and then he allows everything to become a patch of ripped denim. The drums spike up and the tone punks out. He starts singing about Jesus blood tasting like grape juice (something we've all been trained to believe) and suddenly we're out running with the foxes. They're real foxes and they're ladies.
It's a big herd, advancing deeper into the downtown, where there isn't any part of this behavior that would be seen as unbecoming. It's all street philosophy, set to the smooth funk of a Wesley Willis heart. Van Hunt sings, at one point, "What did you do to her? She once was a lady. Now, she's illegible," in a bit of a call and answer section with his backup singers and it's more of a general question about every one of the characters and personas that he brings along with him on these glazed out experiences. What's become of all of us and why does all this feel so normal while we feel like we're not ourselves?