In January of 2015, I shared an image with my friends on Instagram of a book of sheet music. This music, prepared with the help of Brian Adam McCune (who also added additional orchestration) was being tracked at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, CA with the amazing Awesöme Orchestra, lead by David Möschler (conductor).
The image, at the time, had the title blurred out. I’ve never been a fan of talking something up before it’s finished… before I even know if I want people to hear it. There is such a large trend with artists to discuss their future creation at length - to promise the best work of their career; a return to form; etc… It seems, more often than not, that these promises rarely deliver, and serve more as morale boosters for the artists themselves.
I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I enjoy the opposite. While I am not an elusive, or mysterious person - I do enjoy the mystery, and elusion… and since it seems a rare occurrence that the matter makes good on the mystery - I steep in that realm for as long as I can.
I’ve fielded many questions. I’ve told many lies. Every inquiry met with dismissal… Every ‘What are you guys doing next?’ met with a ‘Really? Act IV just came out… less than a year ago! Don’t I deserve some time off?’… Some of my acidity may have been rooted in some authentic anxiety… in all reality, it had only been 8 months…
Getting back to the image… Here is the original, blurred photo from instagram:
… And here is the Orchestral Score, untreated:
So, with that image, I would like to announce Act V. These two albums, Act IV and V, were written and recorded much in the same time frame- though each album retains its own unique identity, tone, and experience.
Act V, however, will be the final ‘rock’ record in the Act series. This may read as though I am abandoning the project, one record early - but the truth is simply that in knowing what Act VI means to the series, and what its story has to say - presenting it in the same form as Acts I-V would be short selling the creative opportunity it presents.
It isn’t always easy to find the balance between personal creative fulfillment, and the fulfillment of our fans/friends - especially when you’ve spent more than a decade of your life pursuing one path… and though my personal path has been, at times, far more tangential than the paths I see so many artists walking - I still find myself pushing for new, and exciting ideas… It is that same gut instinct that has lead me through the Acts, the Color Spectrum, Migrant, and Amour & Attrition… and as always, I need to trust that instinct.
In the foreseeable future, this means to recognize the box that The Dear Hunter has lived in, and blow the box up. This doesn’t mean more than it says. This band is not ending… I am not quitting… This is nothing more than vocalizing the desire for fresh air after what I believe has been the busiest, and most obsessive, two years of my life.
So - to commemorate this moment in both my, and the band’s creative history, we are setting out this September on what I am calling ‘The Final Act Tour’… Does it sound grim? Possibly… Is it? No. This is a celebration of everything that has brought me to this point… a celebration for every person who ever toiled over the meaning of a verse; the placement of an illustration; the name of a song; the point of view the lyrics maintain… This tour is for all of you, and we couldn’t be more excited to see you.
In addition to the tour, we will also be having ‘Story Time with Casey’, and while that sounds like the setup for a late night cartoon, it’s really an opportunity to get together, meet face to face, and discuss the larger world that exists in the records - be it the story or the music.
In summation - I need to stress something to you all…The single greatest responsibility I have is my commitment to creativity. The task of remaining true and authentic is not something I take lightly, and I may have imploded long ago, if not for the incredible and endless support I receive daily from fans, friends, and family… I am humbled, and grateful to have you all in my life - and I am incredibly excited for the remainder of this year.
Act V: Hymns with the Devil in Confessional will be released this September on Cave & Canary Goods / Equal Vision Records.
**VIP PRE-SALE: In addition to the tour, we will also be having ‘Story Time with Casey’, and while that sounds like the setup for a late night cartoon, it’s really an opportunity to get together, meet face to face, and discuss the larger world that exists in the records - be it the story or the music.