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Dear to His Heart

Former emo multi-instrumentalist goes chamber-pop on ambitious solo project.


When Casey Crescenzo was in the Boston emo group the Receiving End of Sirens, he repeatedly found himself butting heads with his bandmates. He had bigger things in mind than the post-hardcore slog that TREOS had grown accustomed to. “I always wanted to take it a little too far,” he says. “It wasn’t an environment that would allow that. It got to the point where I just wanted to make what I really wanted to make.”

So Crescenzo amicably split from the band and formed the Dear Hunter, an ambitious, multi-album project that chronicles the life cycle of a boy called the Dear Hunter. Act II: The Meaning of, & All Things Regarding Ms. Leading -- is due next month. “Most concept albums are sci-fi based,” says Crescenzo. “This is really based around a person’s life. But it’s not autobiographical. I pull from my experiences, but they’re romanticized beyond belief.” The Dear Hunter started as a homegrown experiment by the restless Crescenzo, but has since evolved into a five-member band. Last year’s EP, The Lake South, the River North, charted the early years of the series’ protagonist. The Meaning of . . . picks up the story as he becomes an adult. “He falls in love with a prostitute, but he doesn’t understand what prostitution is,” says Crescenzo. “It’s about his first real love and the crash -- when he finds out what’s going on around him.” The plan is to wrap the boy’s tale in six albums. Crescenzo says the story arc is outlined, written, and ready to be recorded. But he says that his record company, Triple Crown, isn’t as eager to saturate the market with so many Dear Hunter records. “I’d like to release at least one a year,” he sighs. “At the rate that we work, it’s kinda like bad plumbing. Things are gonna get backed up, and we’ll end up playing music we wrote years ago. I’d like to get it completed as soon as possible.” In the meantime, Crescenzo offers few clues as to how things work out for the boy. The strings-filled indie rock surging through songs like “The Death and the Berth” and “The Bitter Suite 3 Embrace” indicates that it’s going to be quite a trip. “There’s a tragically happy ending,” says Crescenzo. “Let’s just say it’s fulfilling.”
Sun., April 29, 7 p.m.

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