Posts Tagged ‘SaintSeneca’

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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

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Saintseneca writes dark, rivetingly mysterious, painstakingly crafted songs that somehow retain a sense of mischief. Even when the Ohio band incorporates exotic instrumentation into moody ruminations on consciousness, the result can still convey all the pleasures of a three-minute power-pop anthem.

In the case of “Book Of The Dead On Sale” a new one-off single, Saintseneca barely needs two minutes. And yet it’s an intoxicating and fully formed little song, what with the way it rumbles and burbles through Zac Little’s deadpan thoughts on math, ancient texts and footage of kittens.

The accompanying video (directed by Little and Jon Washington) provides a perfect match for the song’s mystery, beauty and undercurrent of deep weirdness, as Saintseneca uses a fisheye lens to offer an appropriately twisted view of the world. “Imagine seeing in all directions all at once — 360-degree vision,” Little writes. “The video for ‘Book Of The Dead On Sale’ is a visual metaphor. We use footage captured in 360 degrees and display it flattened in one circular field of view.

“The visual reminds me of R. Crumb’s psychedelic cartoons,” he continues. “We riff off of that idea, aiming to create a cartoonish dreamscape. The loose story is told from the point of view of an apple — being eaten, then absorbed. The apple becomes the eater. The eater becomes the apple. 360 cameras, like other new technologies, create new possibilities. Perhaps they allow us to see in new ways? We see more at once than was ever before possible, and yet we find ourselves all the more disoriented by the new surreal world we create.”

“Book Of The Dead On Sale” is out now.

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All Dogs released their debut full-length, “Kicking Every Day,” in August of 2015. It was produced by Kyle Gilbride, who is known for his work with their spiritual peers, Waxahatchee and Girlpool. The record is a loose amalgam of hazy pop punk singalongs and late 90’s emo jams led by Maryn Jones‘ sweet, patient vocal lines.

When she’s not gigging with Saintseneca or performing solo as Yowler, Jones is responsible for All Dogs‘ calling card: pointed, biting, and intimate lyricism. She’s a poignant wordsmith who’s especially clever with revealing personal dialogue. “Kicking Every Day” separates itself from its peers with poignant insights about depression and anxiety.


Jones pens all the words and plays guitar but songwriting responsibilities are shared among the quartet. There’s an obvious connection between the group, who glow with warmth and welcome. They share glances on stage and connect with fans through collective group chants. All Dogs are not exclusively self-deprecating; they exude the perfect balance of personal critique in their jangly pop. “Kicking Every Day” is seen through the lens of a narrator who understands her flaws but isn’t afraid to point out those in others, making it applicable to just about everyone.

Watch the band perform cuts from the debut on Audiotree Live.
Band Members
Maryn Jones – Guitar and Vocals
Nick Harris – Guitar
Amanda Bartley – Bass
Jesse Wither – Drums

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“New Coats” by Saintseneca, taken from the new album ‘Such Things’ is available now, Saintseneca is an American folk rock band from Columbus, Ohio, that was formed in 2007 by singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Zac Little. The current band is made of Zac Little, Steve Ciolek, Jon Meador, Maryn Jones, and Matt O’Conke. They are known for their diverse range of instrumentation in both their recordings, as well as in their live performances. The band have released two EPs and three albums Last (2011), Dark Arc (2014) and Such Things (2015). The band utilizes a wide range of acoustic instrumentation (balalaika, mandolin, dulcimer, Turkish Baglama, floor percussion) with more contemporary elements such as synthesizers and electric guitars.

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