Sunday, April 15, 2018

Artists Recommended if You Like/For Fans of THE DEAR HUNTER

The Dear Hunter, a band who have become one of my all-time favorites since becoming a fan sometime in late 2006 when hearing Act I: The Lake South, The River North.

And their music (Casey) draws upon a ton of varied kinds of music as an influence. Not just music of course (Casey is a huge Terry Gilliam fan for example). But Casey grew up listening to a lot of pop and rock music from the past. Classic Rock if you will, and even oldies (I once recall he covered "All I have to do is Dream" by The Everly Brothers in a live stream).

But from The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Jimi Hendrix Experience to Queen and ELO, Casey and TDH draw from a lot of those artists from the past. I even recall him mentioning growing up listening to Jazz-Rock groups like Weather Report and Mahavishnu Orchestra.

But while the artists from the past seems present in The Dear Hunter's music, they also have a clear modern sound, and thus they appeal to people who enjoy music that sounds like it was made in the 21st Century.

But with these Recommended if You Like/For Fans of Lists I have started making, they are kind of the idea of a "Gateway Band."

And I can say, among all the bands/artists I enjoy, many of their fans enjoy similar music. But I have found a select few that have been really large in being a gateway to other bands. I guess I think of Rush and Dream Theater, especially in the 90's and early 2000's with DT. And then Porcupine Tree, dredg and probably The Mars Volta in the early-mid 2000's.

And among maybe 1 or 2 others, The Dear Hunter.

I have come to see them as a band I love a ton. Basically every album, and nearly every song they've written/recorded (including many of the obscure/unreleased tracks such as "Old Demon" or "Camera"). But beyond their and Casey's music, it seems he is a music lover with a widespread taste and influences, I think being a music fan and fan-of music-like or music that he draws from is a big part of just being a fan of The Dear Hunter.

And he is very in touch with his fans, I mean consider like the special house shows he's done, the freaking LIFETIME MEMBERSHIP which allows the people like myself who jumped on it right away back in 2010, to be a special guest list fans at shows, for any and all concerts TDH and/or Casey does.

So with this list below, it's pretty extensive. Almost a whose-who of modern progressive (college) rock of a sort, since if you are someone who enjoys The Dear Hunter, you may find many of these other artists include something you enjoy, that you also enjoy with The Dear Hunter's music.

In other words, The Dear Hunter are not only a great band, but also a great gateway to finding other great bands. Even among them, many who are not around anymore (which TDH outlasted for whatever reason, maybe for the better in some ways).

edit: added The Decemberists below and few notes about Coheed and Three.

The Receiving End of Sirens

Well this is an obvious one largely per Casey was a full-time member of this band for 3-4 years and wrote and recorded a large portion of their amazing debut album Between the Heart and the Synapse from 2005.

Certainly they have differences like more frantic guitars and even more screaming, both from Casey and at least 2 other members, Brendan Brown and Alex Bars I recall. But I think the whole band contributed some vocals on both of their records.

They also use more guitar textures, electronic at times. And certainly their 2nd/follow-up album The Earth Sings Mi Fa Mi, the similarities with TDH is less apparent; but I know  many fans of
The Dear Hunter really enjoy that record, even some cases maybe more than BtHatS.

Hotel of the Laughing Tree

To me, these guys created music most-like, without directly copying The Dear Hunter on their debut album Terror and Everything After. The vocals/ vocal styles, riffs, use of extra instruments like trumpet and mandolin. The energy, etc is very TDH-like, but at the same time, the SONGWRITING is so strong, I came to find they created their own sound at the same time.

AJ Estrada's voice is similar, but still a bit different from Casey's. It's more gruff and deeper actually overall.

I was just in awe of Terror and Everything After back in 2010-2011, just feeling that if every fan of The Dear Hunter would hear it, at least a fraction of them would enjoy if not love it. And in some ways it did happen as I have seen many TDH fans who do enjoy that album and the band. Although not to the extent I wondered about.

But by that token, there are many new The Dear Hunter fans, especially since Act IV and V, and they likely never would have come across Hotel of the Laughing Tree, and still could and may enjoy them.

Their subsequent music is also worth checking, even saying that as a fanboy. I just think like Casey, they share in common just a knack for writing good, well-thought-out, memorable songs.

The Family Crest GGB75.jpg
The Family Crest
A good recent/previous summary can be found on the entry

Modern Progressive Chamber Rock Entry

But I'll just add how when I 1st discovered The Family Crest, other than Typhoon, The Dear Hunter were the band who they reminded me of and figured would be a good band for their fans to hear (and vice-versa).

The use of Chamber instruments obviously and some of the large conceptual and epic nature to many of their songs really seem to cross over with TDH.

And go figure, they opened for TDH last December (with some help from myself and others suggesting it on Twitter I suppose).

The Title track to "Beneath the Brine" alone seems fitting.

Kindo wiki pic2.jpg
The Reign of Kindo/Kindo

Initially when I discovered these guys, I thought of them as piano pop/rock/jazz with a really outstanding drummer. And that in a nutshell does fit especially on their debut album from 2008 Rhythm Chord and Melody.

And I even recall seeing some comparisons to the likes of dredg and Mutemath a bit.

And while some of that still fits, The Dear Hunter comparisons and especially just crossover amongst fans is RATHER LARGE.

In fact Kindo really is maybe the best band to recommend to a new fan of TDH whose never heard other bands like TDH.

Now mind you, they aren't identical and even say Hotel of the Laughing Tree or Dirt Poor Robins on paper probably remind me more, but there is something about the style of songs, arrangements, incorporating different dynamic twists, or rhythms that appeal to The Dear Hunter fans.

And frankly the songwriting, both being really good and melodic at times, but also taking you on an adventure. The kind of energy they have. Even just Joey their singer just having a really clean and accessible vocal style, which many describe Casey in a similar fashion.

I mean I post a ton about TDH, but over the last 5 years especially, Kindo is right up there. And like I said, I see their name frequently mentioned on Social Media among TDH fans.

Great musicians and musicianship, progressive certainly, and great songwriting.

Like The Mars Volta and some others (dredg, Fair to Midland, Kaddisfly), Kindo/TROK and
The Dear Hunter music includes a lot of punchy riffs. 

Where to Start? probably the debut, but any of their 4 albums (including the new one this week!) could catch the attention of a TDH fan.

The Mars Volta

I think the biggest thing about The Mars Volta with TDH is they almost marketed to TMV fans when TDH started.

There's definitely qualities that they share or were influenced by. The guitar riffs and tones at times and some of those trippy sections and Blues rock.

I mean for modern progressive rock, The Mars Volta are still one-of if not the biggest name, so when TDH among many other artist came out 10 or more years ago and were called "progressive rock" The Volta was incredibly often compared to those artists.

But I think just seeing sohhhhhh many Volta fans who are into TDH, it's impossible not to recommend them.

I even recall around the time of Act III, there was a YouTube video with the members of TDH and they made a joke about the new Volta album. I'd have to go back and watch it if it was online, but I guess if not before, with that, it was obvious both from an influence and common taste standpoint, a lot of The Dear Hunter fans were fans of The Mars Volta.

Like The Reign of Kindo and some others (dredg, Fair to Midland, Kaddisfly), The Mars Volta and The Dear Hunter music includes a lot of punchy riffs.

Now? I'm not sure quite as much, but in the early days of TDH, it was almost blatant.

I recall 1 person when they heard Act I saying TDH are just a mixture of The Mars Volta and Anathallo, which those early Act records I can't disagree with in a lot of ways.

Kevin Gilbert (Toy Matinee, Solo, Giraffe, Kaviar, NRG)
Obsessed Fanboy-bias aside, I would say from the point I discovered The Dear Hunter and the fact Casey was a multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter who wrote/composed more or less on-his-own orchestrated parts for Rock music, really had me think about how much he reminded me of Kevin Gilbert.

Apologies for the run-on-sentence.

But that is first and foremost it, and the fact Kevin's, like Casey's, musical DNA largely is with progressive rock, but not so blatantly borrowing. But also with clever/sophisticated, layered songwriting and melodies.

To add to that, the studio/production/engineering work Kevin did that Casey often does both with his own and others music.

I guess between The Shaming of the True, Toy Matinee and Thud, all 3 could very easily appeal to TDH fans. Shaming being his magnum opus concept album about among others things, a fictional character's story/frustration with The Music Industry and Hollywood. And even for highly adventurous listener, Kaviar would probably be something else to hear. Take the dark, brooding, sarcasm of something like the Black EP, and Kaviar holds a lot of similar tone and style.

Coheed and Cambria 
There's 2 obvious things about Coheed and TDH. First off, they have toured together at least 3 times I recall, the most recent in 2017. And at least 1 maybe 2 other times around 2009-2011, 1 of those was with Porcupine Tree.

The other obvious thing is how Coheed started out with their large concept/story from album-to-album, and The Dear Hunter with the Acts albums have done the same.

Musically? they share some things with rhythms and catchiness while still emphasizing musicianship.

Clauido Sanchez is the frontman and lead singer and chief songwriter, much like Casey Crescenzo, and if I recall correctly, also like Casey, the only original member left.

edit: per some comments on FB, Claudio is not the only original member left per Josh Eppard and Travis Stever. Although I know in Josh's case, he was not with Coheed for a period her he was the drummer for his brother's band Three.

If you want Prog and you haven't heard Coheed, the go-to album is Good Apollo 1, and then In Keeping Secrets.

Bend Sinister

Bend Sinister almost from the time I was a fan and a fan of TDH (I think my fandom predates TDH by about 6 months actually, in 2006), I thought would be a great band to tour-with/open for TDH.

Their mix of pop and prog could easily, and even has to an extent, appealed to The Dear Hunter fans.

Now like TDH, I am a fanboy, so my suggestion would be pretty much any of their 4 proper full-length albums. And even say the S/T EP which maybe includes still their catchiest song in "Time Breaks Down."

But I guess I lean towards my favorite Stories of Brothers, Tales of Lovers if I had to pick 1. It has a lot of great classic rock references and elements, while still not being overtly retro sounding.

Like The Dear Hunter, Bend Sinister are a band who combine musicianship and accessibility really well. Dan Moxon has the perfect voice for their music, and it's these reasons why I continue to think more people, Prog or otherwise, easily would enjoy them, and The Dear Hunter fans are certainly a big demographic among those.

Sufjan Stevens
The obvious Conceptual (States project) and use of Chamber/Baroque instrumentation are the biggies. Also the fact Sufjan is a singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist is a thing that would appeal to fans of TDH.

A good recent/previous summary can be found on the entry
 Modern progressive Chamber Rock Entry

Typhoon at the Venue.JPG
The chamber/baroque and at times conceptual side to them they share in common with TDH.

I also think just on scale and size of sound. The layering and dynamics. Granted, Kyle Morton's voice is quite distinct and in a lot of ways very different than Casey's.  But TDH fans very easily may find it works well with their music.

Also per a good recent/previous summary can be found on the entry  
Modern progressive Chamber Rock Entry

Like Sufjan Stevens and many others on this list, using the extra instruments and being very dynamic and conceptual. Including a lot of percussion included.

Plus a good recent/previous summary can be found on the entry
Modern progressive Chamber Rock Entry

\"The End is Begun\" Promotional Photo

They I don't think ever have toured with TDH, but it very easily could have happened. The connections with Coheed and Cambria and even Kiss Kiss add 2 or 3 degrees of separation.

Even just both Mike Portnoy and Porcupine Tree have talked about both Three and TDH, touring with both etc.

Plus there is just a large crossover of people who enjoy both online, that for people who enjoy TDH who don't know Three (and maybe Coheed), they easily could enjoy them.

Joey Eppard has a voice that is diverse, passionate and dynamic, much like Casey.

edit: also per FB, Three did actually tour with The Dear Hunter and Coheed in 2012, a tour, now that I think about it, I do recall reading about, but it didn't actually come to my town (MN), so I didn't catch it.

Kiss Kiss

Modern sounding rock music with some punk or 'core elements included in a unique brand of progressive rock. They use Violin, Humor and dynamics really well. Cramming a ton of sounds and ideas into often short tunes. Also there's a almost Mike Patton-influence at times in combining contrasting styles so well, which is not unsuual for fans of TDH to like.

Also the noticed crossover between fans, and I think Josh Benash once mentioned being a fan? I think. Joey Eppard of Three is, and so the connection with Three adds more.

I recall once thinking a tour could happen of

Between the Buried and Me
Kiss Kiss
The Dear Hunter

or 2 or 3 of them. BTBAM and TDH at least did happen.

Also people who enjoy King Crimson among TDH fans, may really enjoy Kiss Kiss's schizophrenic style of songs that somehow work really well and are often catchy.

I also might add Kiss Kiss like many bands in this entry, are broken up. Josh  Benash has been doing solo music and he also was involved in a similar Waltzy-Prog band a few years ago called Vuvuzela.

I.e. also Vuvuzela + Josh Benash for those who enjoy Kiss Kiss naturally.

In 2007 Kaddisfly came out with 1 of the most addictive albums ever for me in Set Sail the Prairie. I played it probably 150 times over the course of a little over a year. And it was around that same time I got into TDH (December of 2006 I think it was).

And among a few other bands who were playing heavy progressive (college) rock that were new to me (Fair to Midland, Oceansize, Kiss Kiss etc), Kaddisfly and TDH definitely crossed paths in many ways among my and others taste.

Proggy Post-Hardcore some described them as.

Anyway, between The Dear Hunter, Kaddisfly and Fair to Midland, the 3 bands all had fantastic, addictive new albums and I know ended up at 1 or more festivals (or were supposed to). I recall speaking to some of the members of TDH about playing with Kaddisfly. I think it was Erick Serna.

At any case, long story as short as possible, there definitely was and still is a crossover in appeal and somewhat style. For one, the last 3 albums from Kaddisfly are part of a Concept Trilogy about the Past, Present and Future. So the whole big concept/story albums they share in common.

The heavy, punchy riffs, dynamics, etc. I suppose Chris Ruff's vocals are a little more to get used to as his annunciations on Buy Our Intention: We'll Buy You a Unicorn and even Set Sail the Prairie are not crystal clear. But the melodies and VOCAL LINES (and music) is so good, those for many are minor if issue at all. And their comeback in 2015 Horses Galloping on Sailboats, they don't really seem to be present.

2007 1 of the great historic years for batting for the #1 record for me and many others. The "Class of 2007" as I call it, saw TDH match wits and beauty metaphorically with Kaddisfly and some others and to some people Kaddisfly were essential listening along with TDH with Act II that year and in the years since.


A couple of things come to mind about dredg and The Dear Hunter. For one, TDH did open for dredg around 2009 or 2010.

Another is the obvious crossover between fan bases already.

And maybe the third being in terms of modern progressive rock bands who are sort of accessible but still very artsy.  But also I kind of see The Dear Hunter as the 1st band/artist to have as diverse and accessible appeal of the progressive rock artists to come around over the last 20 years.

They are kind of a gateway artist like The Dear Hunter in that they have music many people get into initially, and then come to learn there are a lot of other great artists that their fan base enjoys as well.

Much like Dream Theater or Porcupine Tree as well.

Plus they've released concept albums, which of course TDH fans enjoy.

Fair to Midland

Similar to dredg, but closer to a contemporaries of bands like Kaddisfly and Oceansize. In 2007, The Dear Hunter seemed to be a little bit in vogue with Kaddisfly, Oceansize, Pure Reason Revolution, Three, Mew, and some others. Fair to Midland, Kaddisfly and The Dear Hunter (along with The Receiving End of Sirens) seemed to be talked about on lists and on tours even.

And I think between Kaddisfly, Fair to Midland and TDH, there was talk of a tour, or at least TDH ended up at 1 or 2 Festival with at least 1 if not both.

Anyway, their sound emphasize more Rock and not as much with other instruments other than keys. But the combination of progressive rock and college rock is present with all of them, and I see as a key contemporary to TDH from the mid-late 2000's.

Fair to Midland had a minor hit with "Dance of the Manatee" which TDH maybe never have had, but unfortunately Fair to Midland broke up about 5 years ago. But certainly for people into Heavy progressive rock from the 21st century, TDH and Fair to Midland find similar appeal.

Pain of Salvation

Pain of Salvation have often been seen as a bit of an avant-garde band in progressive metal, especially their early days. Which I guess for TDH fans, they might appeal more than many of those types of almost predictable progressive metal.

I recall even seeing 1 comparison of "Mustard Gas" sounding like something off Remedy Lane or Be, which I follow. The whole heavy, orchestrated and dynamic nature of it.

And if you play the 2 or 3 degrees of separation, Pain of Salvation and The Dear Hunter cross paths among many similar fan bases.

Plus add in Concept-Album factor and even just Daniel Gildenlow being a multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter much like Casey. PoS basically being his baby in a lot of ways as TDH is Casey's.

I guess a few factors give reason to suggest Ours to TDH fans. One being Ours toured with TDH (+ Circa Survive and 1 other band I think) back in 2007. The tour that didn't make it to the St.Paul date scheduled per 1 of the member's of Circa Survive had a death in the family unfortunately.

The Jimmy Gnecco + Casey Crescenzo photo opportunity ended when I found that out.

Another being vocal presence. Jimmy Gnecco can wail like a banshee, and why he's my favorite singer of the last 20 years or so. I think people who appreciate Casey's voice and range could easily find Jimmy Gnecco's voice appealing in a similar fashion.

Even just with some of the multi-part harmonies, etc.

Then there's a connection with dredg as I mentioned, there's many dredg fans who enjoy TDH, and there's also many dredg fans who enjoy Ours. Ours also toured with dredg in 2006.

Jellyfish band.jpg

Jellyfish are a band in a lot of ways The Dear Hunter and many other bands on this list owe a bit to, even just indirectly. They (along with Toy Matinee, Tears for Fears, XTC and some others) bridged the gap between Classic Rock/Pop and progressive rock. Like ELO/Supertramp/Queen/The Beach Boys and bands who've come out the last 20 years or so.

Jellyfish's music can be described as progressive pop in a lot of ways, and you take a handful of songs from TDH and the same can be said. Poppy choruses or something with a twist. Left-of-center pop/rock I suppose.

But they also aren't focused so much on chops, but arrangements and studio techniques with mixing, dynamics, etc.

And TDH of course do that really well too.

I would put money on at least 1/3 of The Dear Hunter fans who don't know them, would enjoy a song like "New Mistake" or "Sabrina Paste and Plato."

Apes and Androids.jpg
Apes and Androids

If Jellyfish kind of bridge eras, Apes and Androids, among the things they share in common with TDH musically, they draw from both Classic Rock and 80's Pop music. The Queen, Pink Floyd and David Bowie influence is obvious. The vocal layering (falsettos), which TDH is known for on a large percentage of their tunes.

Apes and Androids music (and under their previous name Call Florence Pow), uses those Classic Rock and 80's influences while creating this atmosphere that is both familiar and yet imaginative. Very moody, meticulous, and therapeutic, throughout their album Blood Moon.

I would even say for people who love the electronic tracks from TDH (Indigo EP, some of the Ms.Leading demos), Apes and Androids use of synths and electronics also add to their appeal.

As I've mentioned on many entries in the past, they are kind of the kings of "Indietronica" even just with their 1 proper full-length album (and the 2 Call Florence Pow Brian Jacobs project "Majestyy" tracks and remixes I supppose).

Mew - 2015

To go along with the progressive (college) rock who came into a bit of visibility in the mid 2000's, Mew and TDH were among those. And I know of a number of TDH fans who are Mew fans (and vice-versa).

I suppose musically, there are enough dreamy prog moments within TDH music they do share that quality among some other things.

But also take someone like Kimbra, whose a fan of The Dear Hunter and even guested on the last
As Tall As Lions album, is a huge fan of Mew and even appears on their 2015 record Plus/Minus.

Progressive pop of a similar but also different kind. Take the 3 records they made in the 2000's, and a TDH fan may find the whole big concept/suites/interludes-within-an-epic-album to go for, that specifically on And the Glass Handed Kites and No More Stories...

Oceansize (and Vennart)

Along with Kaddisfly and Fair to Midland, Oceansize were kind of contemporaries of TDH in the mid-late 2000's being a band who made heavy progressive rock.

The style mix, and dynamic shifts I find all of those bands share with TDH, but maybe Oceansize is the heaviest of all of them.

Also guitar tone at times, such as on the Blue EP, Oceansize and even a band like dredg, which I would call "Post Rock" like anyway.

A song like "Mustard Gas" for example, I could easily see Oceansize writing in some form. Whereas a song like "Unfamiliar" and many others in their catalog, use that addictive, punchy riff that many TDH songs also have.

Pure Reason Revolution

Pure Reason Revolution, another mid 2000's progressive (college) rock contemporary of TDH in terms of era so to speak, very easily could appeal to TDH fans.

Their use of vocal harmonies and the dreamy/astral/beach boys side is common trait with TDH. I suppose they use it more in a space-rock vein than a lot of TDH songs. But I suppose much of that is just on their 1st LP The Dark Third.

Take the Black EP's industrial rock side, and say some of that style that PRR used on both Amor Vincit Omnia and Hammer and Anvil, while doing it from their style of progressive rock, also is an example of where there could be appeal to TDH fans. A song like "Deus ex Machina" or "Victorius Cupid."


22 a band I heard about through The Dear Hunter fans on the Fans Forum .

22 have a sound that reminds many of bands like The Mars Volta, Muse and The Dear Hunter among others. They are rather energetic and bombastic. And awfully poppy/catchy. Some of the catchiest choruses I've ever heard.

When they showed up in 2010 and maybe even more in the coming years, a few of the forums started to go apeshit over them, many of those same people/places of course TDH fans.

I think TDH fans who enjoy those crazy sections, at times bass-led/driven that also transition or combine a great pop sensibility could easily enjoy 22. It was a bit like The Reign of Kindo in that they were a band I enjoyed and told some people about, and then suddenly like 6 months or a year or 2 later, their name started popping up a lot more.

The gap in albums might have hurt them (2010 to 2017), but I still think this band could easily find a much larger audience if more people heard their music. And TDH fan base would certainly be part of that.

Kimbra @ McCallum Park (5 2 2012) (6971313471).jpg
There's a bunch of connections between Kimbra and The Dear Hunter.

#1 Kimbra guest appeared on As Tall As Lions album You Can't Take it With You  Asleep in the Sea and We's Been Waitin'
Rob Parr was a touring member with ATAL and now is a member of TDH. Also I know Casey and TDH's friendship with ATAL, etc.

#2 Twitter March 26 2012
"Just bought The Colour Spectrum by The Dear Hunter off iTunes. Pumped to get into this...@CaseyCrescenzo"

In speaking with some of the members of TDH a couple of years ago, there was the chance of Kimbra making an appearance on what became Migrant, although the details as to why it didn't happen beyond her record label not allowing it, I'm not clear on. 

Also with Social Media (myself included, after seeing her post on Twitter about TCS and TDH), the idea of Casey and her working together. At this point? who knows.

Her music though specifically appeals to TDH fans in her making pop music with a lot of experimental sides to it. A lot with vocal layering and rhythms. Also sharing influence with The Mars Volta perhaps. Kimbra has mentioned being a huge fan of TMV and worked with both Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Deantoni Parks.

Dirt Poor Robins

As I've written, podcasted, made videos about Dirt Poor Robins over the last couple of months, beyond their songwriting talents, I have  unavoidably mentioned how they remind in so many good ways about what I love about The Dear Hunter.

There's of course more in this good recent/previous summary that can be found on the entry
Modern progressive Chamber Rock Entry

But I think among all the bands/artists in this entry, Dirt Poor Robins have got to be 1-of the strongest recommendations for TDH fans (and progressive rock fans in general actually).

The River Empires
A couple of obvious reasons The River Empires are more or less required listening for TDH fans. For one, Casey is/was in-effect a member of this band/project. He's not the mastermind behind it, per it is Jessy Ribordy's baby. Jessy himself being a TDH fan and appears on the Orange EP from The Color Spectrum.

Musically though, namely the use of Chamber and Classical instrumentation/arrangements they share in common with TDH's music. That and the conceptual side to the 1 double album opus Epilogue from 2010.

Casey sings on 1 track, and produced I want to say much of the record, but I'd have to look/revisit some of the details again. The production and mixing is pristine, which reminds me a lot of the production style of a lot of TDH albums.

Also there is a good recent/previous summary can be found on the entry
Modern progressive Chamber Rock Entry

Porcupine Tree + Steven Wilson
I think it would only be fair to include both Porcupine Tree and Steven Wilson in here per many of the other artists they have influenced as well included here.

And The Dear Hunter opened for PT (with Coheed) I recall in 2009? Steven was quoted as being very impressed by them and their live show for what that was/is worth.

While musically they are hardly as similar as some of the others in here, their music is modern sounding and progressive certainly. And like Casey, Steven Wilson's background as a singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist is like Casey's.

Also the fact he has a lot of experience working with other artists in the studio, often engineering (the extensive number of classic albums in 5.1, along with Marillion among others). and sometimes producing (Opeth and Anathema come to mind).

I think it would be silly for many TDH fans, especially who appreciate modern progressive rock to not hear music from both Porcupine Tree and Steven's flourishing solo career, now 5 albums-in.

What? In Absentia, Hand.Cannot.Erase, The Sky Moves Sideways, Lightbulb Sun. ...also Blackfield, namely the 1st 2 albums are something to check out if they enjoy PT and Steven's work. Namely for more concise, directly melancholy yet catchy tunes.

Cloud Cult

Cloud Cult like TDH uses chamber/symphonic instruments as pointed out in the recent
Modern progressive Chamber Rock Entry

Like many of the artists in that entry, they have a large ensemble but also 1 mastermind behind much of the songwriting in Craig Minowa, like Casey Crescenzo is for TDH.

Cloud Cult is kind of Craig's (musical) baby.

Varied styles (especially including their early records which use samples, loops, electronic, voice effects, etc) and concept albums as well. Also Craig Minowa, like Casey, not only sings lead, but is a multi-instrumentalist.

As Tall as Lions
As mentioned on 1 or 2 other of these blurbs, there's a bunch of connections As Tall As Lions have with TDH. For one, Rob Parr is now a member of TDH and was at least a touring member of ATAL. I don't recall if he recorded with them (he may have been on their last album You Can't Take it With You, but I'd have to look it up).

A song like "Circles" I have often thought reminds me of something TDH would write. The dynamics and driving rhythm especially, and the soaring vocals.

There has been a long history of their fans and TDH fans. I even recall Casey mentioning them in a few interviews. Maybe touring or wanting to tour with them? I don't recall if they ever did any full-scale tours with TDH, at least not 1 that hit Minnesota unfortunately. But ATAL did tour with bands like Mutemath, dredg, Circa Survive, Minus the Bear, and RX Bandits, etc.

Many bands who TDH toured with as well.

I mean musically, sure, they don't have a lot of the orchestral things TDH have, but TDH rock and blues side is shared. Even with their lead singer Dan Nigro, he at times reminds me of Casey's vocals. His inflection and tone/range etc.

edit: also it was pointed out both on FB and the video below I think, Dan sings some of the harmonies on the Act I track "1878"

The Decemberists live in Vienna.jpg
The Decemberists

The Decemberists and Colin Meloy, remind me of The Dear Hunter and Casey for a couple of reasons. For one, they have written at times, big concept/story-based albums that draw from literature (even Scifi/Fantasy in some ways).

And the common thread with many of these bands having a Chief singer/songwriter and lyricist with Colin Meloy as Casey is. And as great of a singer and songwriter Colin is, some feel his lyrics may be his greatest talent.

And of course they dabble in a bunch of styles, namely Folk/Folk-Rock, but especially with records like The Crane Wife, Picaresque and The Tain (and The Hazards of Love I suppose), they include some of the similar progressive and chamber instrumentation. A song like "The Island" for example is as well composed a epic (13 or 14 mins) as anything that's been made the last 20 years.

And as I mentioned on FB a bit ago, when I heard the track "The Wanting Comes in Waves" from The Hazards of Love,  I was reminded or thought that is sounded like a song The Dear Hunter might do.

House of Fools

House of Fools I like to think of with that Class of 2007 having their debut album drop that same year (the same day on March 6th, as Kaddisfly's Set Sail the Prairie in fact).

Psych/Prog rock with a bit of a Classic and Southern Rock element. At times piano-driven.

Them along with bands like Bend Sinister and Ramona Falls, I see being prog but not exactly as layered or heavy even as some of the others.

I suppose House of Fools don't align as closely with TDH as some others in here, but I always have thought of them carrying a similar blend of modern pop-rock sensibility, with the progressive and classic rock side. And I suppose blues-rock which is certainly a style that TDH finds it self in at times.

K Sera

Casey Crescenzo produced this band's only record Collisions and Near Misses from 2013. Musically, sure his and TDH's stamp is notice-able certainly. They have that progressive (college) pop/rock element certainly. Sort of sounding like TDH and Muse and even 22 in some ways.

I think if you love The Dear Hunter, you very easily would want to hear the other things Casey has done, and in some cases, produced like K Sera and The Woods Brothers among others.


Mercies is a band/project that is largely driven by former TDH member Josh Rheault,  Sammy Dent also is a member who used to be with TDH.

The debut album from 2011 Three Thousand Days highly impressed me with its charming style of jangley power-pop. Rather hooky and layered-folk at times.

I kind of wondered hearing that album, if Josh's experience with TDH and Casey, some of the songwriting chops rubbed off on him.

I guess largely per the former member's connection, Mercies are a group for TDH fans to check out.

Boyscout'n stone

Menomena are another progressive (college) rock from the 2000's that I notice many fans of The Mars Volta are into. Plus they kind of have always had a bit of hipster-support for whatever reason with Pitchfork buzz at times, going on tours at times with bands that scene loves to promote.

But I have, and I am hardly the only fan whose seen them more as a progressive band. Using saxophone prominently, and being rather atmospheric and experimental, while still focusing on songwriting and melodies at times.

Maybe their biggest track "Wet and Rusting" carries a lot of that description.

I recall part of what I initially loved about them is like Bend Sinister and times TDH, they include these pretty, goose-bump worthy piano sections.

I suppose I can't avoid mentioning how they are kind of a 3-head monster, with 3 main songwriters and 3 singers, none of which is truly a lead. Justin Harris, Brent Knopf and Danny Seim.

Justin plays sax, sings, and some guitar I recall.
Brent plays piano, sings and some guitar as well
Danny plays drums, sings and may also perform other instruments

And each album they did kind of seem democratically divided-up for whose songs was whose, who sang lead vocals on them, etc. Kind of Beatles-esque in that sense.

Brent left Menomena back in 2011 to pursue his own project Ramona Falls, and as much as I love Justin and Danny's songs, Brent's often would stand out the most.

I think for TDH fans who enjoy bands who write left-of-center, quirky songs that have just enough melodic moments (while using sarcasm and humor), Menomena may be right up their alley.

Even including the artwork with cartoony designed packaging, hidden images and messages. I even think they won a Grammy for Friend and Foe's packaging.

Ramona Falls

Ramona Falls is the side project-turned primary musical project for Brent Knopf, formerly of Menomena. Rather atmospheric at times and piano-driven. Ramona Falls are experimental enough to be described as progressive in a lot of ways.

And if you take The Dear Hunter's music and think about melody and the use of piano at times, Ramona Falls and TDH sound-wise crossover at times.

The guitar textures Brent uses, while distinct, I can easily find some similarities to some of the dissonant moments from TDH. The Color Spectrum (Red perhaps), or even on Migrant at points.

There's even some orchestral moments and use of trumpet, which I suppose some of the Menomena music Brent contributed to also included.

Brent, like Casey, is a multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter (and lyricist). I suppose Ramona and Menomena haven't exactly made music that was as highly conceptual. Although just taking the art work and its many animated facets (and even on the newest Ramona Falls album, Brent sent out animated videos with his songs that told little stories in a cartoon-form).

So I suppose in that sense "Art Rock" almost describes Ramona Falls as well as "progressive."

Radical Face
Radical Face is 1 of a number of musical projects from singer/songwriter Ben Cooper, but I also think it is his baby and primary music, at least in the last 10 years or so (Clone is another, but it's more collaborative and may only be a 1-off).

Radical Face, like TDH, have written concept albums and Concept Albums in-a-series. Their last 4 full length albums are all part of "The Family Tree."

And while their music probably leans most highly in folk and folk pop-rock, the use of layering, field recordings and dynamics allow it to stand out.

I have seen multiple comparisons between Radical Face and TDH actually, and they get recommended often on social media and message boards among TDH fans.

Mother Falcon

For those TDH fans who love their use of chamber instruments, like The Family Crest (a band Mother Falcon toured with/how I found out about TFC), Anathallo, Cloud Cult, Typhoon and Sufjan Stevens, Mother Falcon are another great modern band who features/emphasizes the symphonic instrumentation.

And a good recent/previous summary can be found about them in the Modern progressive Chamber Rock Entry.

The Woods brothers with Casey.jpg
The Woods Brothers

The Woods Brothers released their Self-titled debut album in 2016 in which Casey appears on and produced. He sings on "Terra Firma" which is probably the go-to track from them and that debut album.

I guess as a default, like with K Sera and even The River Empires, the folks who love TDH also love most things Casey Crescenzo does, per his involvement with this band on that Self-Titled album.

I think it is worth adding, how they used a bunch of different guest vocalists, 1 being from The Fall of Troy I recall. But their style really is often piano-driven progressive (college) rock. But Casey's production style is a facet on their music, which is 1 part of what appeals to fans of TDH and his music.

Emanuel and the Fear
Emanuel and the Fear are a band like The Dear Hunter, who have a lot of lush string and horn arrangements in their music. Probably most notably on their 2010 debut album Listen.

And like TDH, they are led-by a chief singer/songwriter Emanuel Ayvas. Per recently including them, a good summary can be found on the Modern progressive Chamber Rock Entry

Between the Buried and Me
I think this one is kind of an obvious suggestion of late per The Dear Hunter just went on tour with Between the Buried and Me in March 2018. They even did a split EP where they covered a song from the other band. TDH covered a track off 2015's Coma Ecliptic  and BTBAM covered "The Tank."

Also the fact is, some if not the entire BTBAM band are fans of The Dear Hunter doesn't hurt.

I mean sure, BTBAM are a Metal band. Progressive, technical, and extreme.. Although they share some aspects in the use of changing styles even within the same song, from Bluegrass to Mike Patton-esque theatrical vocal variety.

And some may look at them as one of the most visible/modern progressive bands, sort of Post-Dream Theater, and even the fact they are from the US and close in age I suppose aligns a bit with TDH.

Writing about Scifi/Fantasy topics etc and big concepts also appeals to TDH fans. In fact an online friend of mine whose huge into TDH, The Mars Volta and Sujfan Stevens, but doesn't care for Metal really, enjoys BTBAM. I notice besides TDH, band members of Kiss Kiss and Three (who went on tour with BTBAM in 2008 on Progressive Nation) are fans of BTBAM. And they are not necessarily coming from a Metal background.

In other words, the fact BTBAM are Metal (and there's no debating that), and are also highly technical at times, they seem to find fans who normally don't listen to metal or technical music.
Why that is? I guess part of it is their "core" and Punk side or background. The kids like to Mosh to their music, etc, despite it being as technical and having longer songs. Also I think they are different enough in Metal (Metalcore) and Prog even, for some people who don't care for screaming or growling, because of their diverse influences.

A song like "White Walls" or even "Selkies" are both proggy and epic as hell, but very well composed. And are not that unlike some of TDH's more extensive compositions like "A Night on the Town" or "The Lake and the River" for example.

Naive Thieves

A couple of direct connections are found between Naive Thieves and TDH. For one, they toured with them in 2013 or 2014? I forget which year it was, but they opened and in fact I think the dude with the handle-bar mustache (Cameron Thorne?) may have sit-in on a few songs with TDH on that tour.

And connected to that tour, I recall the whole band was involved with 1 of the EP's on The Color Spectrum. Yellow? I think it was.

Naive Thieves music itself? I recall it being kind of Surf Rock-like, which certainly was noticed on parts of TCS and occasionally on some other music TDH has made.

Elbow are a modern college rock band that honestly many hipsters and the-like have championed at times, although I think it was more often 10 or more years ago.

Kind of textured, ambient, rock music. A little like Radiohead (go figure) and other groups using mood and atmosphere within the construct of their songwriting.

I think the biggest reason to recommend them to TDH fans is the fact Casey is a very big fan of them (and who knows, they may end up touring together someday).

Casey even covered their tune Grounds for Divorce.

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Gavin Castleton (Solo, Gruvis Malt, Ebu Gogo)
Gavin has become a member of TDH over the last couple of years, but he also has an extensive career in bands and on his own. He, like Casey, is a singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist.

I even recall many years back with his solo album Home, seeing remarks saying how much it reminded people of TDH with the use of chamber instruments and the concept/story/theatrical side to it.

And he has a lot of music varying in styles. Gruvis Malt and Ebu Gogo from memory are all-instrumental using things like jazz-rock, electronics, among other things.

edit: my mistake! with Gruvis Malt being all-instrumental (I only remember them as being Jazzy and emphasizing a lot of instrumental work. But they do have vocals as well, but my memory of probably 10 or more years ago listening to them did not include the vocals).

Just notice his extensive discography going back to 2004 

Protest the Hero

I guess Protest the Hero are a good band to recommend per I often find people enjoy Between the Buried and Me, also enjoy them. Or even in some cases, they like them more or instead of BTBAM. The Dear Hunter fans included.

The modern heavy progressive and technical at times rock or in PtH's case, Metal. They are frantic and bombastic, yet Roddy's voice seems to have a great blend of clean and screaming for many to stomach. And I suppose the same could be said about Casey, especially the early records and his singing on Between the Heart and the Synapse for example. Digest-able screaming I suppose.

Thrice 2016
Thrice are a popular band among fans of the so-called progressive rock+post-hardcore. And their frontman/singer Dustin Kensrue some consider even more talented as a songwriter and singer than Casey.

They even released something similar to The Color Spectrum exploring different styles, almost overtly in their Alchemy Index series.

Myself? I guess I have never been pulled-in to their music fully, maybe per Dustin's voice and the emphasis on screaming. But in fairness, I hardly have invested as much time with their music as maybe I should.

I know even prog fans enjoyed The Alchemy Index, just per how diverse it is.

I also recall Casey did a solo tour opening or among an ensemble once with Dustin? I forget. I know he toured with Dustin at 1 point, so there obviously is a relationship between them and thus their fans.

The Protomen
The Protomen may appeal to TDH fans in that they are 1 of a handful of bands who have written concept albums (Act I, II, III, etc) that tie-in to maybe 1 or more large stories. Rock Operas in a way.

I honestly have only spent a little time with their music, but from memory, they kind of draw from many theatrical and classic rock bands, much like TDH. Queen and Meatloaf I recall. Styx perhaps as well.

I think for the people who love the story-element and Musical Theater element of TDH, these guys may totally work for.

Manchester Orchestra
The Dear Hunter toured with Manchester Orchestra I think more than once. I saw them the 1 time, I think on The Color Spectrum tour with White Denim and possibly 1 other band. That was in 2011. Also not long before, some of the members were involved with the Red EP. Andy Hull I recall was.

Musically, despite their name, they don't exactly use the *orchestral* element like TDH.
They're more blues and emotional rock from memory, although their latest album I guess is a bit more artsy and found some new fans, including many who are also really into TDH.

Circa Survive
Circa Survive are a band a ton of TDH fans love, and have toured with TDH I think on more than 1 occasion. Anthony Green is also a good friend of Casey's.

Musically, they aren't as conceptual as TDH's music, nor really as progressive. But they do use the occasional odd time signature and unusual rhythm.

I think a lot of their music though is driven by Anthony Green's voice, which is rather high-pitched and youthful sounding. Which for many totally works and love. Myself on the other hand, am not a fan of. But despite that, I think they're a band many TDH could enjoy if they don't know them.

I guess for those who like the energetic, bombastic, frantic energy of Circa Survive, but maybe can't stomach Anthony Green's vocals, Brazil might work a little better. They have 1 album A Hostage and the Meaning of Life I really enjoyed. Some of it reminded me of The Mars Volta.  "Metropol" and "The Iconoclast" and 'Zentropa." among the tracks from that record.

Not about other artists, but this is a great discussion about The Dear Hunter among TDH fans that recently was made which is kind of relevant to this whole TDH-centric entry.