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The Dear Hunter: The Best Band You’ve Never Heard Of

“Believe you me the price is clear,

A child born, the mother near,

To death and life as hand in hand,

A failed life exposed the man,

Who led her off into the flame,

To cast her back into hell again…”

And so begins the first official album by The Dear Hunter, one of the most interesting bands in recent memory. Originally conceived by Casey Crescenzo as a vehicle for music that he created that didn’t ‘fit the sound’ of the band he was working with at the time, the side project eventually grew until he left the band to pursue the project full time. Since its official creation in 2006, The Dear Hunter has released several EPs and albums, usually featuring a revolving membership, with Crescenzo the band’s longest standing member.

The band is known for releasing several successful EPs, with the latest ‘All Is As All Should Be’ being released in 2017. However, this isn’t what makes The Dear Hunter so exciting to talk about. The most exciting, and unique, element of The Dear Hunter’s discography is the album series called ‘The Acts’ – this is where the majority of Crescenzo’s energy seems to go, and it really does show.

‘The Acts’ is a series of five rock albums, all of which are connected by a single story. The story follows the birth, tragic life and untimely death of an unnamed character, usually referred to as ‘The Boy’ by the band’s fans. Set near the start of the 20th century, ‘The Acts’ invite the listener into The Boy’s life. Born to a prostitute called Ms. Terri, The Boy grows to adulthood far from the city, and the corrupting influence of The Pimp and Priest, the series’ main antagonist. The series deals with the death of Ms. Terri, The Boy returning to the city, his relationship with the prostitute Ms. Leading, his participation in the Great War and his eventual loss of innocence.

Taken as a whole, ‘The Acts’ are incredible, telling a complex, emotional, and at times a dark story across 67 tracks. But even when examined on an individual level, the songs are just fantastic. Using a wide range of instruments and styles, including big band and jazz, the songs are a delight to hear, full to the brim with intelligent writing and wordplay, including alliteration, as well as call backs and foreshadowing to other songs in the series. Almost every recurring character has a unique musical motif, and each song feels different. The music and lyrics form together into something truly beautiful, with both the slower, gentler songs and the louder ones being spectacular.

The Dear Hunter is a simply incredible band, packed with interesting ideas, fantastic songs and a sound unlike anyone else in the business. This side project turned sensation is something that no one would want to miss. The songs tell incredible stories and invoke wonderful images.

The Dear Hunter is, quite frankly, the best band you’ve never heard of.

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