New York label Daptone Records is well known for putting out records by some of America’s finest soul artists. For U.K. soul artist James Hunter, though, the beloved label was willing to cross the pond — with his 2016 album Hold On!, Hunter became the label’s first British artist.
Hunter and his band the James Hunter Six have just shared plans to release Whatever It Takes, the follow-up to that Daptone Records debut and Hunter’s sixth LP overall. To record the album, Hunter worked with Daptone co-founder Bosco Mann at the label’s Penrose Studios in Riverside, California.
Ahead of the album’s release, Hunter has shared the ebullient new love song “I Got Eyes.” He and his band wrote the song while on the road, finishing up the horn arrangement while snowed in at a log cabin in Leavenworth, WA, in between tour stops.
“On paper it’s a straightforward declaration of love, but in practice it’s an excuse to scream the highest notes I can manage,” Hunter says. “Some of the fadeout reminds me of the singer in the nightclub altercation scene in the John Boorman film Point Blank in which Lee Marvin distinguishes himself as the first man in a Hollywood fight to punch his opponent in the orchestra stalls.”
Whatever It Takes is out February 2. Listen to “I Got Eyes” below.