“Ones to Watch” Fave Hunter Oliveri Drops “Spiraling Out” Video



Hunter Oliveri, the 17-year-old talent recently tipped by Ones to Watch, has shared the video for his new single “Spiraling Out.” Watch it here.

“‘Spiraling Out’ is a song that carries multiple emotions, thoughts, and feelings,” the artist offers. “It’s about what it’s like when your feelings become overwhelming or unmanageable. You start to feel a spiral of negative emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. And sometimes, it can feel like being caught in a cycle of stress, anxiety, or despair. It’s like you’re losing control of everything and things are getting worse. However, the song is about recognizing these emotions or feelings, and working against them or trying to fight off the negative and trying to stay positive. It reminds you that you have to look for the best in every situation to work to try and stay happy.”

It’s a deeply self-aware song from a teenager who is still making sense of himself — who he is, what he stands for, where his life is going. He doesn’t arrive as the next ready-made rock star action figure cast in plastic. There is an unquestionable realness about the way he makes sense of life through his music. But he exhibits a surety of mind beyond his years, to create music that connects and inspires, and that will stoke the growing fire of rock’s recent renaissance.

Oliver released “Dumb,” his debut single for new label Spinefarm, in September.

The two songs offer an introduction into the heart of an artist about to be everywhere in 2024.

So what else do you need to know about Hunter Oliveri, whose previous single “Kids” was tipped by Pigeons + Planes? Plenty!

His songs channel the alternative and grunge blueprint of his musical heroes — like Chris Cornell and Soundgarden, Billy Corgan and the Smashing Pumpkins — imbued with the playful opaqueness of Kurt Cobain’s lyricism and the easy slacker hooks of Weezer.

Like all of Oliveri’s music, it speaks to the messiness of growing up. It sounds exactly like that, too. He simply writes what he knows.

There are songs about partying too hard and songs about loving too much; songs about last night’s headrush highs and the morning-after’s anxious comedown. There are songs for when you seek the comfort of relatability, and there are songs for when you want to simply say “fuck it all.”

They are the product of the humble authenticity of someone who’s grown up in a place no different to a million others the world over. Most have never heard of Paso Robles, CA, and might never again. There’s sunshine, strip malls, and vineyards that outnumber venues ten to one, where the nearby underground music scene of San Luis Obispo a few miles down the road is more accessible than anything resembling the bright lights of L.A. two hours to the south or San Francisco up north. “It’s a boring city, but we make the most of it,” Oliveri shrugs. “We’ll go skating, or hang out and smoke. And anyway, it’s fun to go moshing in someone’s basement.”

It’s no surprise, then, that Oliveri is used to creating more interesting scenes than those that existed outside his window. As a kid, he would do so in the stories he dreamt up in his bedroom. “I like writing stories about worlds I’d want to live in,” he says, “which made my own world seem so much bigger.”

Such creativity inevitably morphed into songwriting in his early teenage years — though music had long since embedded itself within him. “I was probably four years old when I first heard ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ around my parents’ house,” he recalls of music’s omnipresence in his life. “I never knew the name of the song but every time I heard it, I’d be like, shit, it’s that song. It would give me this majestic feeling.” He laughs that his mom holds a video recording of her son gamely plucking through a rendition of a Metallica song (it was the epic “One”) at his Kindergarten graduation performance. His dad — an avid fan of Korn and Tool — meanwhile tells him that his parents met at Woodstock; not the peace-and-love of Woodstock ’69, but, more aptly, the confusion-and-chaos of Woodstock ’99.

A chance meeting at age 14 with a local producer’s father while in a coffee shop with his grandpa was the first domino to fall in Oliveri’s music story. The rest is a history still to be written. “I’ve been so incredibly lucky, but I’ve manifested this, too,” he says. “I’ve always known writing music would be my life. I just had to make it happen. It was hard to find kids around my city that played instruments and wanted to be in a band, but I’ve been writing songs every day in my bedroom since I was maybe 13 years old. It takes me to a different place.”

Those songs are anthems for those disassociated with the world on their doorstep, the soundtrack to growing up marooned inside a digital world that Oliveri speaks of with disdain as “rotting people’s brains.”

“I want to bring people into my world through my music,” he adds. “I want people to feel something when they listen to my music, and to relate to me, and for me to be a friend and an outlet for them.”

And as for everything else?

Well, he’ll figure it out as he goes.