The Anniversary’s “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter” is exactly the kind of song that I began “Lost MP3 of the Week” for. However, it’s a music journalist’s nightmare.
The Anniversary: “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter” (download)
This is partly because I’m not sure how I came across the song. It was, in all probability, something I heard from a friend or a website when Emo was in that awkward stage between what it was originally — more angry, more screamy, an unsurprising descendent of punk — to what it became known as when it was in its heyday of pop-punk bands that sound like Blink 182 forgot to take their Prozac. Around the time that people first heard about emogame.com, and before bands like My Chemical Romance. Don’t be put off by the term “emo” – like any other genre, it’s an umbrella term, and there’s a lot that fits under that umbrella.
The other part of it is that I can’t pinpoint why, exactly, I like it. The lyrics, particularly the opening line, “the muscle and bone / they encase my heart but never touch my soul,” are full of the wistfulness that emo has come to be known for, but coming from veterans like the Anniversary, it’s at least earnest with appeal instead of feeling forced. And it’s got that gritty, not perfectly produced sound that I like sometimes. But overall, the song just has that indescribable something that’s made me include in on a lot of mixes, play it when people are around, and return to it year after year, just because it’s good enough that I wanted other people to hear it. Sometimes, that’s all that really counts.