Philadelphia Freedom: Hauntress

With Isolation Drills, MAGNET has been checking in with Philadelphia-area musicians during the pandemic, while Where We Belong shines a light on our beloved local venues. Now that our city is opening again, MAGNET has launched Philadelphia Freedom to explore what happens next with our music scene, post-quarantine. Photos by Chris Sikich.

K. Cullen Hart (vocals, guitar): These photos document one of the six days our band Hauntress spent tracking instrumentals for our first full-length record, at Miner Street Recordings in mid-July. We’ve recorded all of our released music at Miner Street with producer Matt Poirier, who for this session was assisted by intern Kate Lord.

While the pandemic did put the band on hold for about six months, it also afforded us time we needed to finish songs that weren’t quite ready yet, rework songs that needed to be improved and write a few totally new ones in the process.

We were also able to upgrade our rehearsing and demoing techniques, moving from primarily field recordings to multi-tracking and mixing. In short, we were way more prepared going into the studio for this session than in any one prior. (And we felt it throughout it!)

Two to three more days of vocal tracking and mixing will be needed to finish out the record, with artwork and release strategy following that. As we’d like to press this record to vinyl, it’s still too early to say with any sort of certainty when we’ll have it ready for full release, but we’re hoping for no later than early 2022. Ideally, we’d like to precede the record with a single and accompanying music video.

As restrictions have lifted in the city, we’ve been really enjoying getting back out to see our favorite local bands, as well as play shows in other bands we’re a part of. Our first show back as Hauntress will be on September 18 at the Grape Room in Manayunk!