Although Columbus, Ohio’s Saintseneca was originally touted as a folk rock band, it’s been clear from the beginning that there’s quite a bit more to their sound than that designation connotes. When I first met singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/mainman Zac Little in January of 2014 the band was preparing for the release of their second LP, Dark Arc, and Zac tells me that much of his musical inspiration at the time came from things like the post-punk of The Cure, the alt rock of The Replacements, and the grunginess of Nirvana. Well, Saintseneca are preparing to release their follow-up album, Such Things, on October 9th, via ANTI-, which seems to see them further evolving. Much of the album recalls the kind of ‘90s alt rock that ruled college radio. It’s not dissimilar to the effortlessly catchy pop aesthetic appropriated by lo-fi and simplistically gritty rockers like Pixies and Throwing Muses, and more recently, The Rural Alberta Advantage.
Saintseneca just kicked off a US tour yesterday at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco and they’ll be back at Johnny Brenda’s next Saturday, October 10th. I recently got a chance to catch up with Zac Little for the first time in a year and a half and I can’t help but ask him what have been the highlights of Saintseneca since then and he tells me that their first record on ANTI- was a pretty big deal, but that the process of recording Such Things also really had him in his element: “It was exciting to put out our last record, Dark Arc, but recording this one was pretty great, too. I love being in the studio.”
I ask Zac about the evolution of the band’s sound between Dark Arc and Such Things, which seems relatively profound, and he tells me, “I can understand how anyone can interpret it that way,” but goes on to say that the process wasn’t actually that different, that they were just looking to incorporate more pop elements and establish more of the feel of a “band.” Of the album’s influences, he explains, “It’s a record about the physics of consciousness and was inspired by a lot of contemporary physics books. Musically, it was very influenced by ‘60s psychedelic pop groups. We didn’t want it to sound like an old record, but we used that sonic palette, but in a new way.” And finally, when I ask him what can be expected of Saintseneca on their upcoming dates, he tells me, “We’re gonna play songs from the new record and we’re definitely more of a rock band now.”