**DISCLAIMER**: lots of writing.
Anyone who knows my taste in music probably assumed I would post about The Dear Hunter at some point. I figured this would be a good time. I didn't have to do a whole lot of HUNTing to find a favourite album for 2011. (But to be fair, many albums came close)
Before diving into analytic territory (which I will probably tend to do as I write this post), I should maybe explain I guess the "vision" of this project. The Color Spectrum is composed of nine 4-song EPs, each representing a different colour (incl. black and white) and ultimately having different styles/moods varying from record to record. For me to begin to try and classify the project overall as a certain genre would be a disaster. So let's not go there.
The Dear Hunter (TDH) is the brainchild of Casey Crescenzo, who collaborated with different musicians and recorded at different studios for each EP. In doing this, the records would manifest their own style based on the musicians and producers contributing.
So it starts off with the Black EP, which is so dark and heavy, yet so melodic and... mystical?? I dunno. It's also incredibly weird at times. Overall an amazing record, although maybe not the most accessible. Just listen to the guitar solo on Take More Than You Need, you'll know what I'm talking about. Like, what the literal fuck?
Anger is definitely the main emotion on Red. Manchester Orchestra plays on this album, so you know it's good. Just like Black, this one is consistently great all the way through.
Yellow is quite happy, with some Mumford & Sons and Beach Boys vibes. Yeah, intriguing combo, I know. I tend to think of the sun when listening to this EP (wonder why...). A band by the name of Naive Thieves helped with this and the Blue EP, great stuff.
Green is one of my favourite EP's, it is also the most accessible I'd say (same with Yellow actually). Some cool folky (?) stuff on here, with an incredible use of strings and a wicked single-note harmonica part in The Inheritance. I never knew one bent note could be so effective! (how the hell do you even bend notes on a harmonica?)
Indigo is sweet. Kind of experimental, "atmospheric" stuff, really cool. Mandala is probably my overall favourite song on the entire Color Spectrum, so epic when it picks up. This record also has some very unique parts to it - I guess that's what "experimental" means.
The Violet EP sounds the most like TDH's "Act" albums (previous work) which are absolutely amazing. They have this big, elaborate story which holds my interest unbelievably well. It must be the thought of a story itself that inspires such unusual music. Some weird (but great) songs on Violet, all of which sound to me like bits of stories. Look Away sounds like the James Bond theme with a creepy twist.
So I skipped a few EP's, just because I'm trying to keep this somewhat slim (trust me, I could go on forever about this band/album, what I've wrote here is nothing). The series ends with the White EP, which has a 'graceful' quality if you will. A very suitable ending to an epic sequence of the most diverse music I've ever heard, straight up. The verse in Lost But Not All Gone is fantastic (yes, the verse).
Anyways, happy new years listening people, 2012 is gonna be doozy. As the saying goes: "we'll do it live!" Have a good one.