What is the music composer or songwriter, if not a storyteller? That has been the transcendent role of the musician throughout the many ages of human history. From the first note that is struck, plucked, bowed, blown, or whatever else, we (typically) allow the performer to take over our attention until his story has finished. While this is true for just about any kind of music, some artists have perfected the art of storytelling in a way that not only warrants our attention, but enables us to temporarily let go of everything else plaguing our mind while we surrender ourselves to its enthrallment. Today we take a look at The Dear Hunter, one such group that has achieved mastery in this field. The Dear Hunter originally began as a side project of Casey Crescenzo, who was a lead vocalist and guitarist for the post-hardcore band The Receiving End of Sirens at the time. After writing the original demos for the first album to be released under this new name, Crescenzo elected to take leave of his old band in the interest of devoting his full attention to pushing The Dear Hunter forward.
This first EP, which was released in September 2006, came to be known as Act I: The Lake South, The River North. This was the opening volume of a planned six-act story written by Crescenzo. To quote his own words, “The Dear Hunter is the story of a boy, from his creation to his untimely end; the beautifully rapturous to the truly tragic. Set at the dawn of the 20th century, the debut EP gives birth to a story, and attempts to make sense of the future by explaining. Simply put, The Dear Hunter sings of things to which we can all relate: lust, deceit, greed, and hunting.” I will not go too much into the depths of the intricately-crafted world of the story (that is something that you must do for yourself), but I can assure you that it is the kind of world that transcends time and exists completely in the surrealism of your own consciousness.
I’d have to say that some of my favorite musical experiences are when I get to connect with a brand new artist for the first time. There’s always something indescribable about the feeling – you have the opportunity to glimpse inside the creative soul of a wholly unique human being whom you’ve never previously met. I believe that when approaching any artistic work, it is essential to understand that there is an irrefutable truth behind it. Put in other words, music is an undiluted form of communication between humans, conveying the accumulation of an artist’s entire life’s journey. Every influence and moment of inspiration – whether it be musical, philosophical, existential – is a molecule in the genetic code that makes up their art. Music is not just a product of one’s consciousness; it is equally representative of the darker mysteries of the subconscious mind. We, as artists, are channeling the terrifyingly enigmatic power of nature through our music. We are the filters through which the energy of the universe is manifested into artistic creation.
Alright, time to tone down the existentialism. The inspiration for such philosophical musings is my recent discovery of a wonderfully exceptional band known as Intervals. I’m going to tell you my favorite thing about them right here in the first paragraph: they have a remarkable talent for fusing heavy, high octane instrumentation with colorful, jazz-inspired harmony. With the release of their latest EP, In Time, the group builds off of their established djent metal sound by incorporating elements of jazz, melodic progressive rock, and electronica. The result is an intensely focused and highly refined musical product that captivates the listener from beginning to end.