Charleston, South Carolina’s Hunter Park is She Returns From War, a project that has, over the past two years, evolved from abandoned-house folk to a lush, cosmic Americana sound. Often joined by vocalist Jesse Ledford and drummer Charlie King, She Returns from War hooks listeners with hauntingly beautiful harmonies, poignant and introspective lyrics, and an altogether intimate experience.
From debut EP Coyote Soda’s DIY charm to the mystic folk of Oh, What a Love, 2015’s full-length release, to her engaging live performances, She Returns From War consumes you with stories and invites you into her wonderful world filled with wild winds, twisted truths, and a thousand flowers. For Hunter, that’s the whole point of making music. ‘I love people,” she says. “I love being able to give as much as myself as I can, and I think when I actually get to interact with people, I’m much happier.”
The Cosmic Ghost Queen of Charleston, Hunter — with her tasseled dresses, wide-brimmed hats, and silvery locks — gives back as much as she gets from the Holy City’s burgeoning music scene. Though much of her influence growing up came from the likes of Emmylou Harris and Skeeter Davis, Hunter is most inspired by her musical friends from the city that’s pegged to be the next Austin. An essential figure to the scene herself, Hunter has shared stages with the local artists she holds most dear, like Rachel Kate, Jordan Igoe, and Shovels & Rope — the latter of whom featured a She Returns from War poster in last year’s video for “Mary Ann & One Eyed Dan.” Hunter has also performed such festivals as Rockabilly on the Route, Jezeball, and Hopscotch.
Last summer, Charlie Magazine featured Hunter as their cover girl and named her as one of the city’s 50 Most Progressive, highlighting her commitment to advancing her hometown’s music scene. This year, She Returns From War continues to bring her eclectic western folk to both local and national audiences, ever hopeful of connecting more listeners to herself through song — heart on sleeve and all. “I’m bringing as much of myself as possible,” she says. “And I’m always trying to explore and include as many emotions as I can.”