The Dear Hunter
Kay Kay & His Weathered Underground, O'Brother
200 W. Second St
Pomona, CA, 91766
The Dear Hunter
Having spent the better part of the last 6 months indoors, I’ve developed a bit of a necessary wall in regards to contact and communications, but Ill do my best in this message to convey surreal internal musings with realistic external translation.
Within the past decade spent behind The Dear Hunter moniker, it would be foolish to say I haven’t swayed with the times, and that I hadn’t rubbed elbows with thoughts of giving into the tide. There has been an always open door behind me, suggesting me to do any number of things to appeal to wider and more quantifiable audiences. However, in times when this door seemed widest of all, I always felt the need to turn and push further away.
It’s a pretty old cliché - the story of a band gaining notoriety on something unique, or at the very least, something honestly themselves - trimming just enough off of who they are to fit the mold, then living out a life of diminishing creative return.
When I started The Dear Hunter, there were never any aspirations associated with fame, or sales… only aspirations associated with creative output, and a cohesive body of honest and progressive work, that at the very least could account as some sort of chronology of my creative life.
Along with that wish to constantly grow as a songwriter, came the desire to improve as a performer. This, at first, felt incredibly foreign to me - as someone who spent almost all of his time locked away creating (a very introverted behavior), the idea of such a social display was frightening. Anyone who witnessed the early shows for The Dear Hunter, can vouch for that palpable discomfort. Over time, I began to discover the live performance as an opportunity to create something new, and fleeting, each night - with an entirely different palette of instruments, both musical and human. Though the fear of the stage, and nervousness associated with outgoing interactions never left, a new feeling eclipsed them both - and with this grew the desire to improve. It was always a journey of some strange faith.
This is what I spend my time doing. My life is lovingly devoted to improving myself in all areas. Mental, emotional, physical, creative, metaphysical… I have always tried to take the same approach with The Dear Hunter, no matter how hard the adversity, whether personal or financial, I have only strived to make better art.
From this desire to grow, and through incredible fortune, I was given the opportunity to design a tour that I had never thought possible. A night devoted to performing with The Dear Hunter and a string quartet.
Luckily, Equal Vision Records was kind enough to furnish us with a system capable of multi tracking the entire tour - something we had never done before. While moments of hilarity exist (and they are wonderful), we’ve lovingly combed through these recordings to bring 10 tracks of this tour to the ears of any and all who might be interested. I hope that you feel, listening to the music, the love and excitement we felt performing.
I wanted to surprise our fans with this release, as it is my gift to you all, for supporting me over the years, and never giving up on me. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your continued faith in The Dear Hunter.
I want to humbly ask you all to share this letter. Word of mouth has always been the lifeblood of this music, and the suggestions of good friends always outweigh a well placed banner ad.
I leave you all now, scurrying back into my cave with my nose to the grindstone, preparing the next record for The Dear Hunter… It is coming along swimmingly, and I can’t wait to share it with you all. Please keep your eyes peeled for Act IV: Rebirth in Reprise, coming later this year.
Kay Kay & His Weathered Underground
Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground is an indie band started by Kirk Huffman and Kyle O'Quin of Gatsbys American Dream. Like Gatsbys, the band draws influence from a wide variety of musical genres. Though the band only has three official members, they have been known to perform with as many as 11 additional musicians on stage.
The early birthing pains of O?Brother saw Michael Martens, Johnny Dang, and his brother Anton Dang joined in making quiet climbs from graceful notes, a struck pose to an older guitar focused indie-rock. But as is the duty of all freshman bands members fade off and new friends, like Tanner Merritt and Aaron Wamack, joined establishing a new vision, and accidentally stumbling into the dark 2009 debut EP The Death of Day.
"The music we like to put together is dark, but so is the subject matter, so the medium has to be as well," O'Brother?s lead singer/guitarist Tanner Merritt spells out the capturing of the Georgia band?s first five written songs.
To break the cimmerian shade of an album based around sleep and its emboss to the natural world a dynamic had to be created, a wall of density given breathe and firm grip around melodies unable to wander. The expected sprawl of soft, then loud, then back to soft was sacrificed projecting a new luminance where the strength was in the tiny twisting light that exhales from the EP as a whole.
The band sought to keep their on stage essence by laying the album down live, forgoing the studio temptation to fill each space. Recorded by Brad Fisher with assistance from Manchester Orchestra?s Andy Hull the best takes were chosen for keys and effects to be added in later creating the soundscapes tucked beneath each song.
Since the 2009 release the band has shared stages with Thrice, Circa Survive, Manchester Orchestra, Biffy Clyro. Ready to record again the band is in a new dawn; where the sun is rising and a new eclectic output is being embraced.
?I think we are enjoying the writing of our full length more than we did with the EP,? Martens explains the bands next step. ?It is more of a shared experience with this one because everyone is writing. The music is coming out better t