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Columbus, Ohio's Saintseneca began as a unit that distilled and expanded upon the inspiration of the folk sounds from the Appalachian range: the place songwriter, frontman, and lone original member Zac Little hails from. However, through extensive D.I.Y. touring, two previous EPs, and a full-length (2013's acclaimed Last), they've gelled into a band whose sound equals all the places they've been, rather than merely the culmination of where Little is from. Dark Arc, Saintseneca's debut for Anti, was produced by Mike Mogis. Despite its primary use of layered harmonies and acoustic instruments -- guitars, mandolins, banjos, dulcimer, baglama, drums, saw, and other hand percussion -- they also employ organs, synthesizers, pedal steel, electric guitars, samples, etc. whenever necessary. They are no longer the folk band whose charm lies in homemade sensibilities and execution, but a rock group whose approach embraces neo-psychedelia, folk, and indie pop. There are post-punk influences here, too: check the unabashed use of the Cure on "Happy Alone." Little's songs are catchy musically. Some of the finer moments here include "Daendors," with its bright balalaikas, dulcimer, acoustic guitar, low-end drums, handclaps, and soaring harmonies (courtesy of bandmates Maryn Jones, Steve Ciolek, and Glenn Davis). It is, despite a melancholy lyric, as bright and intoxicating as sunshine after a long winter. "Takmit," with its barn-dancing foot stomps, handclaps, 12-string guitar, and bulbul, fuels an intimate love song. The tender, strange, and compelling title cut features group instrumentation tastefully colored by warm reverb and elegantly layered vocal harmonies in a lilting, yet off-kilter cadence that moves to and fro until it all erupts in a psychedelic country sprint. This is the band's first fully realized outing and points toward new directions.
Performance CreditsSaintseneca Primary Artist
Glenn Davis Synthesizer,Percussion,Vocals,Sampling
Steve Jacobs Acoustic Guitar
Luke Smith Piano
Mike Mogis Synthesizer,Guitar,Pedal Steel Guitar,Electric Guitar,Mellotron
Jon Washington Drums,Hand Clapping,Foot Stomping
Matthew Evans Percussion
Steve Ciolek Bass,Guitar,Percussion,Electric Guitar,Vocals,Hand Clapping,Foot Stomping
Zac Little Organ,Dulcimer,Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Bass,Percussion,Autoharp,Balalaika,Electric Guitar,Harp,Vocals,12-string Guitar,Noise,Baglama,Classical Guitar,Hand Clapping,Acoustic Bass,Foot Stomping,Tack Piano,Bowed Banjo,Singing Saw,Baritone Ukulele
Matthew O'Conke Drums,Timpani
Maryn Jones Dulcimer,Bass,Vocals,Hand Clapping,Foot Stomping,Baritone Ukulele
Leslie Shimizu Flute,Piano,Hand Clapping,Foot Stomping
Jon Meador Percussion,Cello,Vocals,Hand Clapping,Foot Stomping,Tack Piano
Brenden Seidel Lap Steel Guitar
Technical CreditsMike Mogis Producer,Engineer
Glenn Davis Producer,Engineer
Zac Little Composer