Stories come in all shapes and sizes, and music can tell stories just like books do. The Dear Hunter is a band that knows how to tell a story. Essentially just Casey Crescenzo of Receiveing End of Sirens fame, The Dear Hunter is a reference to the central character of the story they're aiming to tell. Spanning four released albums, with another scheduled to release on September 9th, 2016, the Dear Hunter's "Acts" series tells a story about a Boy, from his humble beginnings through his rise to (and most likely fall from) power in a very much morally dubious locale. While Act I: The Lake South, the River North functions as more of a prologue than anything else, the real meat of the story kicks up in Act II: The Meaning of, and All Things Regarding Ms. Leading. It's widely suggested that listeners interested in the story start there. Carrying notes and lyrics through from album to album, Crescenzo hearkens back to songs past like flashbacks in a novel or television series, building the narrative with threads of what came before. The Color Spectrum, while not a definitive story of its own is a masterpiece of theme: each song is meant to exemplify a different color (I'm rather fond of the White songs). While Migrant represents the band's only true album without a concept, it is still an exceptional album. Their Live album will also stun you when you realize how well their live performance matches the studio production. Every piece on each album is brilliantly orchestrated: no notes are out of place, every lyric resonates.
"They have so many songs!" I hear some of you saying. You'd be quite right about that. In excess of 100 songs, the Dear Hunter has a lot to appeal very widely. These are my top picks, in no particular order:
- "Whisper" Migrant
- "Bitter Suite I & II: Meeting Miss Leading/Through the Dime" Act II
- "Bitter Suite III: Embrace" Act II
- "Bitter Suite IV & V: The Congregation and the Sermon in the Silt" Act IV
- "Bitter Suite VI: Abandon" Act Iv
- "The Kiss of Life" Migrant
- "No God" The Color Spectrum: White
- "Lillian" The Color Spectrum: Violet
- "Go Get Your Gun" Act III
- "A Night on the Town" Act IV
While Migrant and Act IV: Rebirth and Reprise are available to check out on CD, much of the Dear Hunter's other works are available on Hoopla, including Acts I-III, and the entirety of the Color Spectrum. Even better, Migrant and Act IV are available to download from Freegal! With five free songs a week, you'll have plenty of Dear Hunter to keep and listen to as long as you wish!
Recommended bands to listen to if you like the Dear Hunter include Coheed and Cambria, another group that similarly strives to use music as a story telling device, Say Anything, and Eisley, their upcoming tour mates.