Analog Rebellion with The Appleseed Cast
9 p.m. Sunday
113 N. Crawford, Norman
People change, often dramatically, yet when it comes to musicians, we tend to expect a consistency that’s simply not realistic, particularly of someone who began making music while still a teen.
After growing older and putting distance between the traumatic events that first drew him to music, Dallas singer/songwriter Daniel Hunter ditched the PlayRadioPlay! moniker that graced his first releases and re-christened his efforts as Analog Rebellion late last year.
While Hunter still draws on some of the same influences that energized the layered, upbeat, emo-tinged electro-pop of PlayRadioPlay!, the change feels appropriate, given his more varied sonic approach and darker lyrical spirit.
Since the change, he’s enrolled in University of Texas at Arlington and cut back on the touring, although he’ll play Sunday night at Norman’s Opolis. Conversely, he’s increased his output; since January, Hunter has released two full-length albums and two EPs, with another on the way.
In August , he released a disc of more-or-less acoustic tracks recorded on his iPhone.
“It’s funny, because a lot of the stuff I recorded on the iPhone was higher-fidelity than stuff I record on my computer, which I make lo-fi by running it through shit to make it sound weird. It’s pretty crazy how good the built-in microphone on the most common cell phone is these days,” he said.
His upcoming EP, “Evaders,” was recorded in a living room with one take. He described it as “really heavy and loud and Wall of Sound-ish.”
Not only his sound has undergone a change, but the way he approaches songwriting. When Hunter first got into music, he’d been a pretty talented baseball player, but chucked it all after his dad’s death. He joined a high school band and slipped into self-medicating with drugs and alcohol.
After going to rehab at 14, he quit the band, distanced himself from friends, and started recording music in his bedroom. That would become PlayRadioPlay!, which somehow took off on MySpace, eventually sparking a label bidding war. The resulting 2008 album, “Texas,” broke into the Billboard Top 200, but he left Island Records four months later.
Despite his tumultuous teenage life, most of the PlayRadioPlay! catalog of that time was positive, hopeful and exultant. Since then, Hunter, now 20, has openly explored his dark side.
“I actually feel like now I’m such a happier person than when I was making PlayRadioPlay! music, but that’s maybe the product of me getting the bitterness out in music, rather than holding it in and pretending that everything is wonderful and beautiful or something,” he said.