Hunter Park, the front-woman of the folk trio, She Returns From War, is one of those people you meet and instantly fall in love with. Charismatic and gregarious, I found myself chatting with the Charleston native before Art Bar had even begun filling for that night’s gig, a Night at the Planetarium, an event hosted by Columbia’s electronic folk pop trio The Lovely Few. Hunter’s audacious, yet affable personality is translated on stage through her carefully crafted and brazenly honest lyrics. There are moments you see an artist for the first time and wonder why it took you so long; that’s the impact She Returns From War had on me Saturday night. Her progressive folk is emotionally raw and enthralling, and Hunter’s unique voice demands your attention, even in the softer moments. Described as Woman Abandoned Folk Americana on Social Media, Hunter certainly encompasses that essence; her struggles and heartbreak as a woman are evident and embodied through the refreshing revival of the folk genre. But a Night at The Planetarium was a powerhouse of female voices. The opening act, King Vulture was idiosyncratic and funky, singer Kate Pyritz’s voice reminiscent of Siouxsie Sioux. Closing out the night was Grace Joyner, another Charleston native, her haunting harmonies and soothing ethereal lullabies juxtaposing bewitchingly with Fort Psych’s celestial visions.
All photographs by Alexis Schwallier.