Full disclosure, I have been a long time fan of Saintseneca. I first saw them around 8 years ago in a small coffee shop I was living across the street from while in college at Ohio State in Columbus Ohio. They had just released their first full length album “Last” and were playing a gig with Ghost Mice. I was instantly captivated by their sound and how talented everyone in the band was, many of them switching between a cavalcade of instruments depending on what the songs called for. That album was a very well realized vision of their sound and is a great time capsule of where they were in their journey as a band.
Over the past few years they have releases a few more albums, singles, and such showing progression as artists and their broad creative range of influences. In 2015 they released “Such Things” with obvious influences from late 70s psych rock and introduced experimentation with sitar, hammered dulcimer, domra, bouzouki, as well as other instruments. For me, this album was a bit of a let down in terms of their growth and seemed more generic than what I feel they were capable of. The album had its bangers (see, “Maya 31”), but trends for 2015 ushered in a deluge of experimental psychedelic indie rock that bumped the album up against the music landscape at the time. Thankfully, this past fall they released “Pillar of Na” and have come back true to form and have really created something beautiful.The album feels complete and completely unique. This album is also the first with Caeleigh Featherstone after Maryn Jones left (we miss you and good luck), allowing the band to incorporate some fresh synth and keyboard ambiance to some of the the albums more dreamy songs.
“Pillar of Na” is a fantastic addition to Saintseneca’s discography and should be in any self respecting indie folk lovers rotation. Front to back the album has hit after hit. Not one song feels incomplete and lacks in its offerings. I appreciate the bands approach to this album and the return to form, playing to their strengths while still keeping things fresh.