Though not brothers, Adam Hunter and Sam Hunter of Glasgow-based electropop duo Hyyts have shared a bond since childhood that has sustained them through a meandering path to the brink of success. Singer and lyricist Adam studied musical theatre in Edinburgh, before moving to London in a thwarted attempt to become a singer-songwriter, then returning to Scotland to work as a musical therapist in prisons. Sam, meanwhile, spent some time as a professional gamer, and graduated from promoting niche dance and electronica nights in Edinburgh to producing his own tracks.
In 2015, not long after they started making music together, Adam moved to Dundee to work on a film soundtrack with Gary Clark, former frontman of 80s pop band Danny Wilson, and Sam came along too. Hyyts’s sound was honed over two years living in the city.
Like a classic fire-and-ice duo, Sam told the Dundee Courier: “Opposites attracted with us. Adam’s got a massive flavour for big pop, sometimes verging on the cheesy… whereas I’m listening to weird, 30-year-old industrial techno from Yugoslavia or wherever.” Like fellow Glaswegian synth enthusiasts and vowel-substituters Chvrches, Hyyts’s music walks the line between underground electronica and the pure pop rush of Muna or The 1975. Their sound is driven to euphoric heights by Adam’s unabashedly soulful, soaring vocals on the likes of SOS, about the pressures of masculinity, and the twitchy, garage-inflected Lonely People, about the psychological toll of the pandemic. Their new EP, Helluvatime, documents a relationship in reverse, from the poignant afterimage of Bad Tattoo to the rich, romantic rush of Hold on Cowboy, a neat trick designed to leave the listener besotted. It works.
Helluvatime is out 18 June; Hyyts play a home town show at Glasgow King Tut’s on 26 August