Can a relatively conventional 4 minute alt-rock track really contend for song of the decade? Considering there is always something out there that’s more innovative, brilliant, and weird, I have to admit it is unusual. However when you are as talented as The Dear Hunter is, any feat is made to look easy. Effortless is as good of an adjective as any to describe their 2015 smash hit “Waves” – a track that combines all of your standard breakup cliches with a gorgeously bleak burial-at-sea metaphor. As lead vocalist Casey Crescenzo passionately pleads “I can see the lighthouse”, it feels like bargaining, as images of waves knocking his ship sideways come more and more into focus. It’s not your typical breakup song because The Dear Hunter is an atypically skilled bunch. So when the experience wraps up with the utterance “I thought that I knew love, but it was just a wave crashing over us”, it feels all too easy to relate to.
It’s amusing to think that a band as eccentric as The Dear Hunter (who have composed an act in five parts and who also once wrote a 9-EP, 36-song collection) might see one of their most straightforward offerings ascend to the top of their entire discography. “Waves” isn’t part of some grand scheme or concept, it’s just pure emotion set to the most sweeping melody that the band has ever written. Sometimes, that’s all you need.
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