Haunt The Woods
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In the deepest reaches of the English countryside there is a sublime sound that emanates from
the landscape and its name is Haunt the Woods. Timely but curiously timeless, you’d never
guess that this youthful quartet could so confidently make no accord with genre and yet here
they are, and their rich musical vocabulary spans decades and worlds. Recently signed to
Spinefarm / Universal, it won’t be long before you’re hearing more from these musical mavericks
and with good reason.
Formed between Plymouth, Devon and Cornwall in 2016 and commanders of a legion-like local
following, Haunt the Woods deftly interweave alt rock, folk, prog and pop with an epic level of
pomp and poetic elegance that suggests a far longer tenure than their young years suggest.
With a tip of the hat to Queen and Muse here, Jeff Buckley or Radiohead at their OK Computer
best there and with a sprinkled-in tinge of Beatles-loving pop sensibility, they have a rare ability
to conjure legacy while creating a bold sound that is completely their own: masterfully layered,
gleefully out of step with the demands of fashion and creatively informed by literature and the
With two warmly received EPs and a debut album, Opaque which was released in 2020, the
stage has been set for their overdue introduction to the world, and a beautifully crafted record,
Ubiquity: 12 tracks of eccentric brilliance and light and shade and that most uncommon quality:
range. From the cinematic scale of their operatic opening track to the stirring, confessional
balladry of Home and the dreamy psychedelia of Overflow, Haunt the Woods’ magic is in their
multi-faceted approach to songwriting. Spend any time with the musicians behind it and you’ll
see why. With the time, space, and salty air to let their ideas flourish and grow, it is both a
testament to musicianship and a powerful statement of intent.
“There isn’t much of a scene here so we made one for ourselves,” says singer Jonathan
Stafford. “It was like, ‘can we do a gig here?’ and we’d just get rid of the tables and chairs and
bring a soundman down. We’ve played in caves! When you grow up in the Southwest, Cornwall
specifically, the pace is slower, and I grew up surrounded by sea and countryside.”
And it isn’t just an idyllic environment which afforded Haunt the Wood’s sound the time to
incubate. Stafford’s words, like his shimmering vocal performance, pull from the writerly
Steinbek, Keats, and Kipling among others, and as with all other aspects of Haunt the Woods
there’s an intelligence and intentionality coursing through it all.
Supercharged by the production wizardry of Peter Miles whose weighty credits include
Architects, We are the Ocean and Martin Grech among many others, Ubiquity was produced
over seven weeks in a residential studio which granted the powerful upstarts those two rarest
commodities: time, and space.
“The music industry is very saturated with immediate gratification,” says Stafford. “Music is
consumed, people want immediate gratification – we’re all slow build and dynamics, and it’s
about the shape of the record as a whole. If you listen to any one part you’re only getting a very
But if a thought to composition and a progressive approach to influence makes them sound like
the candlelit dinner to most people’s right-swipe, make no mistake about the colossal sounds
that Ubiquity contains. A band with the imagination to dream and the chops to deliver, their time