Yesterday, while I was listening to a stack of singles that I’ve been ignoring for awhile, I came across a track from Boston act The Dear Hunter. While the song wasn’t bad, the entire time it was playing all I could think about was how at some point, there’s going to be a conversation when I’m forced to distinguish between The Dear Hunter and Atlanta act Deerhunter. The similarity in names is too much for my brain–and, I suspect, the brains of other people out there–to handle, so one of the acts is going to have to change its name. Below the cut, my attempt to determine which act is going to be forced to rebrand their musical identity.
Length of band’s existence:
This should be probably the primary determining factor, but I don’t want to go just on longevity alone. What if the older band is awful?
The Dear Hunter: 2005-Present
Snap aesthetic judgment based on the first thing that comes up on YouTube:
Again, not exactly a fair way to judge things, but who wants to listen to entire discs of music to make a decision about whether an act is worth listening to? The album era is dead, man.
The Dear Hunter, “Red Hands”:
Deerhunter, “Strange Lights”
I don’t know if I would describe myself as a fan of either song, particularly. However, the Deerhunter track is shorter, and doesn’t include the lyric “I was pulling out my heart so I could pin it to my sleeve”, which is just enough to pull off a win.
Gimmick accompanying the playing of music:
Music’s not enough these days to validate your existence as a band. There’s gotta be a hook, something to pull in the fans. Sufjan has his states project; the Jonas Brothers have their scarves.
The Dear Hunter: Currently working on a nine-album story cycle “about the birth, life, and abrupt death of a boy, known only in the story as ‘The Dear Hunter.’” Also, the albums will be themed somehow to the colors of the visible spectrum.
Deerhunter: Lead singer Bradford Cox’s onstage antics include fake blood, dresses and occasional nudity.
POINT: DEERHUNTER Deerhunter seem to limit the wackiness to the live show, which allows still allows the music to be enjoyed on a surface level at home; the thematic nature of the Dear Hunter challenges the listener on every level.
THE DEAR HUNTER: 0
Tough break, Dear Hunter frontman Casey Crescenzo. I’ll expect a press release announcing your name change by the end of the month.