Mathis Hunter Sets the Mood Lighting

Atlanta musician Mathis Hunter, alumnus of local groups Noot d’Noot and the Selmanaires, has been issuing noteworthy solo work along the way as well. His trippy debut LP, Soft Opening, came out back in 2010, but he’s been on a tear more recently, releasing the comparatively straightforward hard/classic rock fare of Countryman in 2017 and Mother Tongue in 2019.

Musically, Hunter’s latest dispatch, Mood Lighting, represents something of a return to the fuzzy trippiness of Soft Opening (“Crimson Yellow” could easily be mistaken for an outtake from Pink Floyd’s Meddle or Obscured by Clouds), while the groovy psychedelic funk stew that Noot d’Noot so often paddled around in seeps back into play on opening track “Clone It Off.” Lyrically, the mood traffics in darker waters, as the album was written and recorded while Mathis was going through a divorce.

“It pretty much chronicles the highs and lows or manic depression of dealing with the dissolve of a relationship mid-life,” Hunter explains, “with the first side sort of finding a way through it and the second side somewhat coming apart at the seams. I didn’t really plan to sequence the songs like that, it just made the most sense when it was time to put them in order. It’s a rite of passage to do a divorce album, right?”

Mood Lighting is available digitally as well as on a limited edition vinyl pressing of 106 copies through Hunter’s Ley Lines label and Chunklet Industries. Consult Mathis’ Bandcamp page for ordering info and a listen.