In 2011, Dan Mufson, a Philadelphia composer and producer, moved out to Los Angeles to further pursue a career in music. Later that year, Mufson met singer Jill Lamoureux. Together, the pair formed a four-piece band known as Scavenger Hunt. With a name chosen based on the concept that life is a scavenger hunt, the band began delving into synth-pop sounds and swirling beats. The band will have a national tour with Capital Cities on the heels of its debut, title-less EP released this week.
Like many synth-pop/alternative groups before them, Scavenger Hunt’s debut work hopes to make a turn in the music industry to a new era of ethereal voices and fabricated beats. With its debut EP, the group does just this. With a sound similar to that of HAIM, Ms Mr and London Grammar, Scavenger Hunt will be able to offer everything fans of the subgenre love. However, unlike these groups, this still-small-time band may have trouble becoming a breakout success.
“Lost,” the album’s lead track, is a somewhat appealing, sometimes unappealing track filled with various vocal inflections and falsettos. It’s repetitive, unoriginal and as it rides a border between upbeat, fast-paced pop music and slower ballads, “Lost” may leave some more confused than it does satisfied.
“Bones” is the EP’s best track. With harsh beats slamming behind Lamoureux’s gloomy voice, this track is quite beautiful. “Bones” is softer than the other tracks on the EP and provides a more simplistic and basic sound that Scavenger Hunt seems to manage much better than some of the more complex, messy tracks like “Lost.”
“Dreamers,” is one of four original tracks that will fill synth-pop fans with satisfaction. Like Betty Who’s “Somebody Loves You” mixed in with HAIM’s “Let Me Go” this song is a dreamy ‘90s concoction. It’s danceable and fun, yet endearing and sweet.
Finally, there is “California Waiting.” On this track, London Grammar is definitely a go-to comparison. Showcasing Lamoureux’s graceful vocals, “California Waiting” is a fascinating mixture of spacey instrumentals and lucid singing.
Ultimately, Scavenger Hunt’s debut does not add anything new to the subgenre. That being said, fans of synth-pop should appreciate some of the tracks to a certain degree. But this is not the groundbreaking crossover type of music that will appeal to a large range of audiences, and so success may not be achieved on a large scale.