For a few months now, fans of The Dear Hunter have been eagerly awaiting the release of the band’s newest album, The Color Spectrum. The Color Spectrum is made up of 9 separate EPs inspired by the colors in the ROYGBIV scale, plus black and white just for good measure. The album was released on June 14th and has been my number one fixation ever since. I’ve spent a good portion of my time since the album’s release simply listening to the songs and trying my best to figure out what each color was intended to represent. I feel as though I have a relatively accurate guess as to what each EP is meant to symbolize; however, it’s extremely possible that I’m way off on most, if not all, of them. Who knows, really? I assume most people already have their own opinions formed as to what each color might actually mean and that’s super great! The Color Spectrum is one of those albums that can easily mean something very different for each individual person who listens to it, and that, my dear friends, it was makes it such an astonishing and beautiful album.
The Black EP has become a fast personal favorite. This particular EP is exactly as I imagined it would be; dark, gritty, and almost even a little bit frightening at times. For example, the very beginning of the opening track reminds me very much of the moments leading up to someone being hanged. Regardless, the mesh of computerized sounds and the band’s regular instruments coupled with Crescenzo’s distinctive vocals and lyrics give The Black EP a sort of sinister sound that is not readily found in a lot of TDH’s music. “This Body” is perhaps one of the best songs TDH has ever recorded. The song was released a few weeks prior to the album and I’ve been infatuated with it ever since. The track is raw, dirty, and completely showcases exactly what the band is capable of. The chorus to this track contains one of the most amazingly powerful lines I’ve heard in a very long time. “This body’s not a temple, it’s a prison”, along with the rest of the lyrics, paint the most gorgeous picture in my head and this might be why I frequently listen to this song on repeat.
If there should ever be a time in my life when I decide that I need to exact my revenge on someone for whatever reason, The Red EP will be what I play in order to get myself pumped up. When I listen to red, I think of a crime scene. This is likely due to the several distinct images implying vengeance. On this EP, Casey pairs up with Manchester Orchestra front man, Andy Hull, and provides listeners with yet another sound unlike anything else TDH has ever released. The final track on red, “We’ve Got A Score to Settle”, is one of my personal favorite songs in the entire collection. Crescenzo’s vocals in this track are close to the best I have ever heard from him, and that’s saying a lot. The repetition of the line “Someone’s got blood on their hands” sends shivers down my spine in a way that only The Dear Hunter could.
I’d be lying if I said that part of me wasn’t hoping that The Orange EP would have a lot to do with citrus fruit. However, I am pretty glad it didn’t end up just being 4 songs about the joys of eating oranges. Instead, The Orange EP has a certain fire about it. Orange uses a great deal of very bold instrumental segments. Pair this with The Dear Hunter’s already audacious vocals and lyrics and you’ve got one hell of a track. Rather, four tracks, in this case. “A Sea Of Solid Earth” is slow at first, but quickly transitions into a prevailing chorus in which Casey holds nothing back. However, my favorite part of this particular song is probably the long extended “Yeahs” toward the end of the track. While normally the word “yeah” is just used as an extra syllable, this use of the word is by far the most powerful and endearing part of this track.
The Yellow EP, as you’ve likely guessed, is very bright and summery. However, it’s not exactly the type of Summer time music most people listen to today. When I listen to Yellow, I think more The Drifters’ “Under the Boardwalk”. Either way, The Yellow EP is definitely a soundtrack for driving around on a warm, sunny day with the windows down and the volume turned all the way up. Particularly the breezy and romantic “She’s Always Singing”. To be perfectly honest, I was not the biggest fan of this song when I first heard it, but the more I’ve listened to it the more it’s grown on me. It is pretty much the perfect song for any summer romance due to its cheery and just all around adorable nature.
If you’re a fan of folk music, then The Green EP is definitely for you. It has a very natural and earthy sort of tone that kind of makes me want to go plant a tree or something. I’m probably not actually going to do that aside, green uses a great deal of acoustic guitar which is a welcome change from a lot of the more electronic and/or full band sounds offered by the other EPs. “The Inheritance” is a beautifully sad song that very well may be my new obsession. It sounds like your favorite folk song mixed with the distinct TDH sound we all know and love and that’s something I can really get into. I honestly have about three different ideas as to what the track might actually be about, but I am fairly certain it has something to do with a father and son. Unfortunately, that’s about as vague as I can put it without making assumptions that could easily be proven very wrong. So basically, it’s extremely open to interpretation and I think that’s more fun for everyone anyway.
I’m sure that it is clearly evident that The Blue EP is one of the mellowest of the 9 EPs. It’s the kind of music to listen to when all you want to do is relax. For this EP, Casey teams up with Naïve Thieves front man, Cameron Thorne. Thorne’s bluesy vocals were the obvious choice for the opening track, “Tripping in Triplets”. If we’re being honest, I sort of thought it was Julian Casablancas of The Strokes briefly. However, I soon realized that probably was not the case at all. Anyhow, the track is soft and dreamy from beginning to end, and I truly think that is what makes me so fond of it. It is the type of song that one could easily fall asleep listening to, but not in the “this song is really boring” sort of way. It’s more of a “this song is so pretty I want to hear it in my dreams” sort of falling asleep.
To be perfectly honest, indigo is a color that I sort of forget exists, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect from The Indigo EP. Even after hearing it through once or twice I wasn’t really sure what to make of it. However, upon really listening to it in depth and reviewing the lyrics, I quickly came to the realization that Indigo has a very spiritual sort of sound to it. “What Time Has Taught Us” is a very simple and beautiful song. Simple in terms of the lyrics, not necessarily the instrumentation because I imagine it’s not really that simple at all. There really is not much to the lyrics though, but the track does not really require much more than the few repeated lines.
Violet is the one EP that I cannot choose a favorite song from. It has a sort of old-timey/classical feeling to it that makes me think in black and white movies from the 1920s. The Violet EP is beautiful, to say the least. There is nothing about this EP that I do not completely adore. If I absolutely had to choose a favorite song; however, it might be “Too Late”. The lyrics and overall tone of this song fit so perfectly together it gives me goose bumps. This song contains one of my favorite lines in the entire collection, “You lost a bet when you met me dear, but I thought I'd won the lottery”. I’m not really sure why this lyric stands out to me so much, but I think it’s beautiful. Lyrics aside, the jazzy/big band sort of feel joined with Casey Crescenzo’s unblemished vocals gives this track a sound diverse from all the rest but remarkable nonetheless.
Because The Color Spectrum begins on such a dark note (literally), it makes sense that it would end with the very elegant and gorgeous White EP. The lyrics on each track of this EP are unsurpassed. I’m a huge fan of religious undertones in music, and there are quite a few of them used on white. Due to my crippling obsession with words, it was excruciatingly difficult for me to choose a favorite song from this EP. However, were I put into some sort of life or death situation where I absolutely had to choose a favorite; I would probably have to go with “Lost But Not All Gone”. Why, you ask? I’ll tell you! Not only are the lyrics to this track beautiful, but the music itself is also spectacular. This beautiful piano track provides the perfect ending to one of the most well thought out and ingenious albums I have heard in a long time.
So, there you have it, the entire Color Spectrum summed up in way more words than were probably necessary. I sincerely hope that everyone will at least give this album a chance. If you’re not into the idea of listening to 36 songs by some random band that some girl on some blog told you to listen to, you’re in luck! There is a standard version of the album that only has 11 tracks on it! Seriously though, The Color Spectrum is worth your time. Have I ever lied to you before? Don’t answer that.