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The Dear Hunter – “Migrant” Album Review

The Dear Hunter - Migrant album cover

Today, there are so many rock groups out there, along with an exhaustive list of sub-genres, that it can become hard not to pick up a new album and instantly think of another similar sounding group. There is an endless sea of music that harbors a feeling of déjà vu/been there done that feelings. Enter, The Dear Hunter, to offer something completely refreshing, yet again. With their new release, “Migrant”, the group has once again outdone themselves and created an outstanding work of musical art.

There is one word that continues to come to mind when listening to “Migrant” – transcendent. Breaking the mold of the group’s previous four albums (all concept albums), “Migrant” skips the concepts and goes with a theme much simpler, and much more personal. From the intimate opening, “Bring You Down”, to the serene closing, “Don’t Look Back”, the album is a personal exploration both lyrically and musically. This takes the album across so many different territories, crafting so many unique sounds that each track is a new journey in and of itself.

Those that are fans of The Dear Hunter have likely heard the first track released from the album, “Whisper”, as it was released online about a month ago. This song is my favorite on the album, but to say that it is the standout track is to discredit the amazing body of work the group has put together on this release. There are so many beautiful harmonies, skillful transitions/tempo changes, and impeccable textures. Simply put, this is the most wonderfully-layered album I’ve heard since Sufjan Stevens’ “Illinois”. Further, I can recommend this album based solely on its vocal content – Casey Crescenzo has always been an extremely talented vocalist (a personal favorite), but this album showcases some of his best work. Casey transitions from soft melodies to raw growls (and everything in between) so easily and perfectly matches the feel of each song section. To see an example of all of the above in action, check out “Girl” below – a heavier track that manages to evolve into so much more multiple times throughout the track (in particular, the dual guitar work during the chorus is superb, not to mention the alternating vocals):

I could go deeper into the album and describe each track, but it is better to allow you to experience the magic of “Migrant” with as little knowledge as possible. There is not a low point on the album, and I can honestly say that I can think of no one who should not be able to find something on this album that he/she doesn’t enjoy. This personal exploration for the group has brought them into new territory – territory that many other groups may only dream of reaching. The passion and emotion Casey and company have put into each track is quite powerful and has allowed this album to stand out from the crowd as an incredible release. Do your ears a favor and delve into “Migrant” – I highly doubt you will regret it.

Final Score: 9.5/10

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