When a successful duo splits up to pursue separate endeavors, you can anticipate a rich evolution, making the separation less of a tragedy and more of an enticing new beginning.
Formerly the frontman for The Blancos, songwriter and producer Cory Hueston has been exploring his individual musical identity for two years now through the moniker Hueston, the product of which is his six-track debut Orbs, recorded at Love Potion Studios and co-produced with Todd Spadafore.
Orbs is Hueston’s first collection as a solo artist, following over twenty singles released since 2019. The non-stop music-making machine has even dropped a new single since the February EP called “Derek’s Song,” which was out as of April 25th.
From the encouraging anthem “Believe” to the softer, reflective “Amends,” the EP touches on a range of emotions from the darkest moments to promises of light at the end of a tunnel. “This project is about overcoming depression, addictions, and turning over a new chapter in life,” Hueston told American Songwriter, a journey which has many ups and downs .
The opening synth note of “Faith” rings out in a declarative introduction, and listeners are soon after acquainted with Hueston’s signature gravelly vocals, which are rough in a passionate and attention-demanding way. The song borrows lines from the well-known Serenity Prayer, such as “God grant me the day to accept the things I cannot change,” but twists and bends them around original, dramatic melodies, giving them a new life.
Next up is “Eyes Bleed Water,” a dark and backwards love story which was turned into a visually stimulating music video co-starring girlfriend Bri Miles. Shots of them being overlaid in a blue light—to match her hair—and wandering around in an abandoned structure are cut up into bright transitions and trippy scenes that reflect the choppy, static beat which invites movement.
Title track “Orbs” opens and closes with words from his six-year-old son, a recording experience which gave him “chills.” The song uses gospel elements also found on “Faith” and “Eyes Bleed Water,” an inclusion which helps Hueston stand out from other indie-pop and R&B-leaning artists.
“Goodbyes” is a fitting choice to close out the EP, spinning a tale of acceptance and closure. The relatively acoustic track, relying on the sensitive piano to draw emotion from the listener, still manages to sneak in an energetic verse before calming down for a gentle ending.
“To get through it, you need to go through it,” Hueston says of the message tying the songs together. “Orbs is the moment the sun starts peaking, that moment when the sunrise begins.”