Blending sterling pop hooks with melodies and arrangements influenced by '80s alternative rock (especially the Cure) and lyrics that put an upbeat spin on heartache, Hunny broke out of Southern California in 2015 with the independent single "Cry to Me," which became a major hit on streaming services. Led by vocalist and songwriter Jason Yarger, Hunny became one of California's biggest indie success stories thanks to songs like "Vowels (And the Importance of Being Me)" and "Televised," and in 2018, they signed with leading punk label Epitaph to release the EP Windows II.
The members of Hunny all hail from Newbury Park, California, a town near Malibu. Lead singer and guitarist Jason Yarger and bassist Gregory Horne had been friends since high school and played in a rock band together, while guitarists Jake Goldstein and Jake Munk had been playing music since their early teens. While they had all played in a variety of bands, it wasn't until the musicians were sharing a house together that they decided to join forces, with Yarger contributing songs originally written for a solo project. With the addition of keyboard player Kevin Grimmett and drummer Joey Anderson, the first lineup of Hunny was complete. In 2014, they released their debut single, a track titled "Honey Blonde," but it was with their 2015 release "Cry to Me" that the group made their breakthrough, as the tune was streamed over a million times within a year, eventually racking up over three million plays.
The band hit the road for a nationwide tour with fellow Californians the Neighbourhood and Bad Suns, and in October 2015, Hunny dropped the five-song EP Pain/Ache/Loving, which included "Cry to Me" and another streaming success, "July." By the time the EP arrived, the group was a five-piece following the departure of guitarist Jake Munk. Hunny's success continued into 2016, as their single "Vowels (And the Importance of Being Me)" became another hit that received more than 4.5 million plays on major streaming services. In 2017, Hunny released another EP, Windows I, which included two more streaming hits, "Televised" and "Shy." As Hunny's following grew, they revealed that they had signed with the well-established punk label Epitaph Records in mid-2018; the label promptly released Windows II. The EP appeared after bassist Gregory Horne left Hunny, with Kevin Grimmett now serving double duty on bass and keys. ~ Mark Deming