Some have written and commented that Such Things, the most recent album by Ohio’s edgy folk rock outfit Saintseneca, released via Anti- Records in 2015, is “more accessible” than their last; “I’d say that’s fair to some extent. It’s still a pretty weird record,” says frontman Zac Little. “In my approach to writing the songs, there was a certain level of intention to make it that way, in the way the songs were arranged and things like that.”
“I was inspired to try to write songs that had a groove, that was something I hadn’t really done that much,” he explains. “A lot of Saintseneca songs have this linear pattern, where there’s like a passage that switches into something else. I was challenging myself to try to employ different techniques in my songwriting.” The result is a magnificently sprawling 15-song sparkler that has wiggled its way into my ears and set up residence in my brain, where it continuously hosts a total hangout fest.
Such Things was recorded in Omaha, Nebraska, in a beautiful studio that provided inspiration during the process. “I think that anytime you’re in that kind of context, it offers a lot of creative possibilities,” explains Little. “Being surrounded by instruments, that’s always exciting for me.” While Little doesn’t play favorites with his songs, he does admit that he is partial to ones he lovingly refers to as the “underdogs” on the album. “’The Awful Yawn’” is one that, to me, I could imagine people overlooking in the context of the album. It’s like the underdog, but it’s right up there with all the other ones on the record. ‘Rare Form’ is also kind of an underdog,” he says. “I had to push to get that on the album, people just weren’t sure about it, but by the end, everyone was on board.”
There’s also no shortage of creativity in this band; Little, is an artist formally trained in sculpture who makes jewelry and has an Etsy-based store called HeroKing, came up with the concept of the amusing video for their single “Bad Ideas”: “I wanted to do something surreal; one night I was out at a bar. It wasn’t necessarily a karaoke night, but there was this dude singing a Rolling Stones’ song, seemingly by himself, and he was totally absorbed in it. It pretty much cleared the room,” he recalls with a chuckle. “I thought it was funny; I thought about what was going on, that he was totally in his own world, in his own head while he was singing this song. It sparked the idea to try it for the “Bad Ideas” video. Sometimes when you’re writing your own music and perform it, you get in your own headspace and who knows what that looks like to other people? Sometimes it’s an absurd process.” As for the cast of costumed characters providing support for Little in the video, Little says, “My bandmates were unfortunately and ‘conveniently’ all out of town when we shot the video. I had to round up a bunch of friends, and hired some dancers here in Columbus who did the choreographed stuff.”
Saintseneca is tearing up the highways on a nationwide tour which brings them to the Music City to headline Lightning 100’s Nashville Sunday Night Series this Sunday, January 17th, with Des Ark. If you can’t make it to 3rd & Lindsley for the Nashville show, be sure to catch them when come to your neighborhood!
(For tickets to the Nashville show: http://www.ticketweb.com/t3/sale/SaleEventDetail?dispatch=loadSelectionData&eventId=6299485&pl=3rdlindsley&REFERRAL_ID=client)