Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Listen: Saintseneca - "Frostbiter"

photo by Nick Fancher
Aside from the odd show and a brief tour opening for Philly outfit Hop Along, Columbus, Ohio folk rockers Saintseneca have been laying rather low. These things happen though: a band retreats to their homelife to resume the act of actually living like normal people and also work on newer music. "Frostbiter", the new single from Saintseneca's new forthcoming album Pillar of Na, gets the band back together to once again ruminate on life's offerings. "Frostbiter" follows previous singles "The Wandering Star", "Moon Barks at Dog" and "Book Of The Dead On Sale", but has both the distinction of being the first to actually be confirmed on the new album ("Moon Barks At Dog" will also be on Pillar of Na according to the tracklist) and also to represent a much more obvious stylistic shift for the band since previous album Such Things. "The Wandering Star" saw the introduction of more electronic elements to the band's already pretty eclectic blend of instruments and "Frostbiter" continues to lean into it.

"When granddad died, I got his knife//I cleaned the kitchen and I didn't know why" singer/songwriter Zac Little drawls above a stark, atmospheric hum before the chorus arrives with beats, the entrance of the rest of the band and featherlight vocals from new member Caeleigh Featherstone. Saintseneca songs have always reveled in a sort of pervasive melancholy before giving way to more exuberant arrangements but "Frostbiter" luxuriates in its sparsity. A rumination on memory, "Frostbiter" finds Little offering a series of seemingly unrelated anecdotes with fairly minimal arrangements before the chorus gives way to a recording of a woman and child talking. It's a more experimental composition but one that ultimately doesn't forget the band's propensity for catchy pop hooks. The electronic touches are treated as a spice instead of part of the main course.

Saintseneca's fourth full length album Pillar of Na is out August 31st on ANTI-. Pre-order is available now. The band will also embark on a headlining tour later this year to support the album, you can check dates here.

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