JT Hodges, ‘Hunt You Down’ – Song Review
The video greeting at JT Hodges‘ website promises “fresh, new country music” from the Ft. Worth, Texas born and raised singer-songwriter. His debut single ‘Hunt You Down’ delivers on that promise. In fact, it’s possible he over-delivers.
Hodges borrows rarely used gimmicks like whistles and “na-na-nas” to tell the story of a young man who meets a girl for a night of in-the-moment fun. He’s a pretty good whistler, and the “na-nas” work inside the song’s infectious melody. The funky beat is one you’ll be glad to saw on for a day or two. Musically he distinguishes himself, making it easy to imagine radio station request lines packed with “Who’s that one guy who whistles?” phone calls.
Lyrically, the song verges on being too cool for the room. From the very beginning ‘Hunt You Down’ floods the imagination: “I came up river on a gravel barge from New Orleans / She was standing on the cobblestones in a pair of cut-off jeans / I asked what she was doing / She said, ‘Sugar I’m killing time’ / Then I handed her my wallet, said, ‘Baby so am I.’” Criticizing Hodges (and co-writers Mark Collie and Rivers Rutherford) for painting such a beautiful portrait in just 30 seconds feel dishonest, but it’s going to take listeners a few tries to make sense of everything that’s happening.
The chorus is where they’ll catch up. Hodges sings, “And we danced / And we laughed / Never talked about tomorrow / We just lived a little in the here and now / With her hands in my hair / Like a million magic fingers / She said, ‘Look me up when you get back to town’ / Look you up, I said, ‘Hell I’m gonna hunt you down.’”
It’s a cool story if one patiently sorts out the details. Singing along to this song brings back memories of the fifth grade glee club. You sort of mutter through the verse, but shout out the chorus and “na-nas” because those are the only words you really know. Overall, ‘Hunt You Down’ is an ambitious first effort, with maybe a few too many movable parts.
Listen to JT Hodges, ‘Hunt You Down’