Posts Tagged ‘columbus’

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Last year, Columbus folk-rock crew Saintseneca released their most recent full-length, “Pillar Of Na”, and they’ve been touring on-and-off ever since. It makes sense, then, that inspiration would strike them to record their own version of “Wait A Minute,” a bluegrass standard about the long hard days of touring. The track, which was originally written by Herb Pedersen, has a long history dating back to the ’70s, first appearing on the Seldom Scene’s 1974 album Old Train.

Saintseneca’s take on the track captures the band’s crisp, earthy sound, with Zac Little and the rest of the group harmonizing on the song’s desperate throughline: “”Wait a minute, did I hear you say you’re going far away again?/ Try to change it, I can’t take the lonely nights without your love.”

“Wait A Minute” by Saintseneca

Band Members
Zac Little, Caeleigh Featherstone, Steve Ciolek, Jon Meador, Matthew O’Conke
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we’re celebrating Pillar Of Na by releasing this one-take live version of the title track. It was recorded by our friend and longtime videographer Jon Washington at Musicol Studios in Columbus. Musicol is Ohio’s oldest studio and also a vinyl pressing plant.

Pillar of Na is Saintseneca’s most ambitious album to date, with Little aiming to incorporate genre elements he’d rarely heard in folk. “I wanted to use the idiom of folk-rock, or whatever you want to call it, and to try to do something that had never been done before,” Little explains. “To reach way back, echoing ancient folk melodies, tie that into punk rock, and then push it into the future. I told Mike Mogis I wanted Violent Femmes meets the new Blade Runner soundtrack. I’m looking for the intersection between Kendrick Lamar and The Fairport Convention.”

Memory is the common thread running throughout the Columbus folk-punk band’s fourth album, Pillar of Na, arriving in August 31st via ANTI- Records. Following 2015’s critically lauded Such Things, the new album’s name is rooted in remembrance, referencing the Genesis story of Lot’s wife who looks back at a burning Sodom after God instructs her not to. She looks back, and God turns her into a pillar of salt. “Na,” meanwhile, is the chemical symbol for sodium. “Nah” is a passive refusal and the universal song word. It means nothing and stands for nothing. It is “as it is.”

“Pillar of Na” (Live) by Saintseneca from the album ‘Pillar of Na,’

Band Members
Zac Little, Caeleigh Featherstone, Steve Ciolek, Jon Meador, Matthew O’Conke

The other big news is that our European tour starts next week in Oxford, England. It’ll be our first time over in 3 years and also our first time in places like Paris, so we’re majorly jazzed to be playing these songs for the first time in Europe.

Tour dates:
Nov 21: The Jericho Tavern – Oxford (UK)
Nov 22: Rabbit – Norwich (UK)
Nov 23: Hyde Park Book Club – Leeds (UK)
Nov 24: Broadcast – Glasgow (UK)
Nov 25: YES – Manchester (UK)
Nov 27: Sebright Arms – London (UK)

Saintseneca’s Zac Little has been thinking a lot about memory. Not necessarily his memories, though they creep in often, too. Rather, he mulls over the idea of memory itself: its resilience, its haziness, how it slips away as we try to hang on, the way it resurfaces despite our best efforts to forget. Memory is the common thread running throughout the Columbus, Ohio folk-punk band’s fourth album, Pillar of Na, arriving via Anti- Records. Following 2015’s critically lauded Such Things, the new album’s name is rooted in remembrance, referencing the Genesis story of Lot’s wife who looks back at a burning Sodom after God instructs her not to.

She looks back, and God turns her into a pillar of salt. “Na,” meanwhile, is the chemical symbol for sodium. “Nah” is a passive refusal and the universal song word. It means nothing and stands for nothing. It is “as it is.” Musically, Pillar of Na is Saintseneca’s most ambitious album to date, with Little aiming to incorporate genre elements he’d rarely heard in folk. “I wanted to use the idiom of folk-rock, or whatever you want to call it, and to try to do something that had never been done before,” Little explains. I told producer Mike Mogis I wanted Violent Femmes meets the new Blade Runner soundtrack. I’m looking for the intersection between Kendrick Lamar and The Fairport Convention.”

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Released August 31st, 2018

Zac Little: vocals, guitar, 12 string, baritone,
mandola, bouzouki, synth, bells
Jon Meador: synths, vocals, piano, mellotron,
various keyboards, guitar
Matthew O’Conke: drums, aux percussion,
vocals
Steve Ciolek: guitar, vocals, 8 string bass,
hammered dulcimer, marxophone
Caeleigh Featherstone: bass, vocals,
hammered dulcimer
Mike Mogis: synth, guitar
Maryn Jones: vocals
Susanna Gilmore: violin
Elizabeth Furuta: violin
Brian Sherwood: viola
Paul Ledwon: cello
Megan Siebe: cello, violin
Carlyn Hendler: flute, piccolo flute
Miwi La Lupa: bass trumpet
Leticia Wiggins: flute

The Ohio folk-rock band Saintseneca has carved out a nifty discography using unexpected tools in inventive ways. There’s the exotic instrumentation, sure stuff like the balalaika and the bouzouki, to go with more familiar sounds – but the group also has a real gift for matching fatalistic, ruminative rambles to arrangements that sparkle and surprise. In the brightly infectious “Moon Barks at the Dog,” one of many highlights from their new album “Pillar of Na”, Zac Little suggests an M.O. for Saintseneca that fits into just six words: “Weep with me in 4/4 time.”

The Columbus, Ohio group’s latest single, “Beast in the Garden,” uses Adam and Eve’s exile from Eden as a nostalgic discussion point, stopping short of any sermonizing or guilt-tripping. Its intricate finger-plucking bursts joyously into a mix of jubilant horns, anxious violins, and sprawling Zither-based instrumentation. Little’s voice rings with urgency as he sings, “Beast in the garden/Be still guarding the gate,” referencing the couple‘s inability to return to paradise.

Four albums into its career, Saintseneca continues to poke at its sound’s margins, as the new record’s nearly nine-minute title track incorporates fluttering acoustic instruments, a crowd-pleasing folk-rock jam, a stormy crescendo, a verse about Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You,” a chant of “We all must get stoned” and an a cappella coda that revisits “Circle Hymn,” the track that opens the album.

But Pillar of Na’s artier reaches also liven up more broadly accessible jams like “Frostbiter,” which marries oblique musings on death, dashed hopes and survival to choruses sweet enough to swoon to.

Band Members
Zac Little, Caeleigh Featherstone, Steve Ciolek, Jon Meador, Matthew O’Conke

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We’re thrilled to announce our new album Pillar of Na which will be out August 31st on ANTI- Records.

The first song “Frostbiter” and had this to say about it: “For Saintseneca, fatalistic gloom blends seamlessly with a kind of playful sprightliness: Zac Little’s songs often simmer in a sad swirl of death and esoterica, but his deadpan ruminations are buoyed by the sounds of exotic instruments, candy-colored pop hooks and many points in between.”

I think of this song as a big tree trunk in the woods where people carve their messages – initials, jokes, “I love you” hearts… It is a work of accumulation. A little space absorbing traces of its environment over time. Every mark corresponds to a different story. Some of them are mine. Some belong to others, yet feel all too familiar. – Zac

Also! We’re touring like crazy. The full US tour has been announced with UK, Europe,

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Releases August 31st, 2018

Zac Little: vocals, guitar, 12 string, baritone,
mandola, bouzouki, synth, bells
Jon Meador: synths, vocals, piano, mellotron,
various keyboards, guitar
Matthew O’Conke: drums, aux percussion,
vocals
Steve Ciolek: guitar, vocals, 8 string bass,
hammered dulcimer, marxophone
Caeleigh Featherstone: bass, vocals,
hammered dulcimer
Mike Mogis: synth, guitar
Maryn Jones: vocals
Susanna Gilmore: violin
Elizabeth Furuta: violin
Brian Sherwood: viola
Paul Ledwon: cello
Megan Siebe: cello, violin
Carlyn Hendler: flute, piccolo flute
Miwi La Lupa: bass trumpet
Leticia Wiggins: flute

There’s a lot of heart in every project Maryn Jones touches. Her lyrics – which project struggles with self-doubt and depression, and a penchant for self-reliance, graceful and introspective. And her voice is powerfully expressive, whether combined with the muscular, fuzzy guitars of All Dogs – the indie punk band she fronts — or providing delicate harmonies for Saintseneca, the folk-rock group of which she’s a member. But often with those projects, the uniquely tender, vulnerable aspects of Jones‘ singing and songwriting run the risk of being buried, or, at the very least, not getting their chance to be heard.

Jones released an album called The Offer under the name Yowler in 2015, those facets were finally given space to be a centerpiece. The songs on The Offer are sparse, relying mainly on just Jones‘ voice and guitar. They’re deeply intimate and enveloping, both emotional and physical.

Maryn’s unique voice suits these songs perfectly. Here, I can’t get enough

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Back in May, the Columbus-based folk-rock crew Saintseneca released a great one-off song, “Book Of The Dead On Sale,” and today they’ve followed it up with a new track called “Moon Barks At The Dog.” It’s a very pretty and melancholy one that sees the band howling over terse acoustic and a foreboding atmosphere, inviting you to “weep with me in 4/4 time,” which sounds like as good an idea as any. Columbus folk-rock outfit Saintseneca released this single in November and we can’t get enough of it. “Moon Barks at The Dog” is a stripped-down, mountain-folk ballad that showcases the synthesis of acoustic folk and indie rock the band has built their following on. This clever and contemplative new single wails.

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Band Members
Zac Little, Maryn Jones, Steve Ciolek, Jon Meador, Matthew O’Conke

Singer-songwriter Lydia Loveless’ highly anticipated new album, “Real”, was released in August via BloodshotRecords. This record follows the release of Somewhere Else, which Rolling Stone praised as “…an aching, lusty set of twang and sneer wrapped in electric guitar swagger,” while Pitchfork furthered “Somewhere Else [is] both a bracing and a deeply harrowing listen.”

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Lydia Loveless has never been catchier, funnier, smarter, or more of an emotional powerhouse than on this album of hearty roots-rock songs that helped her decide to keep living. The dopey “Midwestern Guys” of her Columbus home base share head space with a passionate romance in “Bilbao,” and “your shitty Indianapolis band” adds to mental noise both metaphysical (“Heaven,” where no one goes) and heartrendingly personal (“Longer,” on which Loveless grapples with a close friend’s death). And then there’s “Out On Love,” secretly the greatest ballad of the year and not so secretly the most radical stylistic departure of her career. Hopefully it proves to be a launchpad for many more.

Connections.

Tracing the origins of Columbus, Ohio’s Connections would take you back to the mid-late ’90s, when singer Kevin Elliott and guitarist Andy Hampel were out of high school and in a band called 84 Nash. The only band signed to the Rockathon label despite having no formal relationship to owner Robert Pollard’s better-established pursuit (behind the mic with Guided by Voices), 84 Nash got to tour extensively with its benefactors. From the sound of it, that experience still informs the backbone of Connections‘ every move — five guys with loud amps blasting out of a basement on a regular basis in service of keeping some manner of truth in rock ‘n’ roll.

Ragged and persistent, “Month 2 Month” (from the band’s fourth album, Midnight Run) couples Elliott’s lyrics about hardship and uncertainty with a triumphant zeal (“I’m better off that way!”) nearly outpaced by the amount of energy coming out of the band. The central riff pogoes on-the-one all around the room, with bassist Philip Kim and drummer Mike O’Shaughnessy locked in behind Hampel’s and Dave Capaldi’s guitars as they shift from the rough edge of power-pop to the frantic exuberance of a Capaldi solo that builds to the track’s finale.

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Connections’ home of Columbus has consistently been a hub for independent rock, punk and pop of remarkably high quality since the 1980s. (Its label, Anyway, which has documented a healthy amount of that town’s scene, celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.) Longevity and generations of both passing the torch and reaching across the table have been a consistent boon to the town’s unique musical output. Songs like “Month 2 Month” are evidence of maintaining a tradition: records handed down to the next crowd of kids on the come-up, who turn out remarkable likenesses in their own image.

Midnight Run comes out July 22 on Anyway Records.

Columbus, Ohio songstress Maryn Jones had a prolific 2015. She once more lent her Teflon harmonies and multi-instrumentation to an ornate Saintseneca album, as well as stripped herself down to an emotional and musical minimum on her haunting solo effort The Offer, released under Jones’ Yowler moniker.

All Dogs exists somewhere in between. More direct than Saintseneca’s folk communalism and built on a scrappy four-member rock scaffolding, last August’s Kicking Every Day remains inimitably addictive. A cathartic jet stream of emotion engulfed in ‘90s DIY distortion, All Dogs carries the baton of early Liz Phair and Belly with less sheen and more spit. This show should be worth checking out alone to hear Jones’ voice ascend to oxygen-deprived heights on standout track “How Long.”

All Dogs perform “How Long” on Audiotree Live, November 17th, 2015.