Many Rooms is the moniker under which Brianna Hunt, an artist based in Houston, Texas, records and performs. The still-evolving project made waves in 2015 with the release of the Hollow Body EP, a collection of mostly acoustic tracks that showed promise and allowed Hunt to embark on a relentless touring schedule. As life on the road intensified, so did Hunt’s struggles with depression. This led to Many Rooms’ debut LP, There Is a Presence Here, a stunningly bare album that finds Hunt reckoning with detachment from herself, her faith, and the people around her.
Going into the studio to make There Is a Presence Here was the first substantial time alone that Hunt had experienced in a while. This sense of isolation and introspection permeates the album. Even the album’s allusions to other art—which range from C.S. Lewis to Nine Inch Nails—reference a state of bleak mental limbo. The resulting mix of cinematic ambience and striking crescendos meld with Hunt’s desperately contemplative words to make an album that is powerful even at its most fragile. There Is a Presence Here is built from harrowing times, but it is not without light. Hunt’s lyrical self-confrontations maintain hope even in their bleakest moments, showing a willingness to ask hard questions and find acceptance in the answers. With intense vulnerability comes profound catharsis, and making There Is a Presence Here became one of many steps toward Hunt beginning to find solace.
Angelo De Augustine writes and records music in Thousand Oaks, California, a suburb north of Los Angeles, where he grew up. His self-released debut album, Spirals of Silence, and three-song EP follow-up, How Past Begins, earned praise from the FADER, Stereogum, Vogue, and My Old Kentucky Blog. Last year, he released Swim Inside the Moon, his second full-length record.