Recover, the debut single and lead-off track from Second Still‘s upcoming self-titled LP, leaps straight for the throat and doesn’t let go for nearly five minutes. From silence springs a droning three-note bass line, drenched in chorus, quickly supplemented by a pummeling rhythm track. A slithering guitar line cuts through the din and quickly gives way to dreamy, yet powerful female vocals. At first, the vocal melodies hang soulfully detached from the music, but once the track takes a powerful turn, restraint turns to intent as vocalist Suki San bellows “my heart is bitter because I surrender,” a self-proclaimed epiphany about a toxic relationship. The tension continues to break as Ryan Walker’s guitar kicks into overdrive and Alex Hartman’s bass grows deeper and more menacing, completing the cycle and delivering a powerful release that sets the tone for the record to come.
Second Still, for those unfamiliar, pull their influence from a series of classic post-punk and French coldwave touchstones, including Xmal Deutschland, Excès Nocturne, Baroque Bordello, and Garlands/Lullabies-era Cocteau Twins. What may sound like an extension on long-forgotten themes still feels urgent and refreshing, and their hunger and passion for this music continues to yield amazing results. Since last we checked in with them, the band has completed work on their debut album, due out on CD on April 4th via Manic Depression Records, with a vinyl edition to follow shortly after. New Belgian imprint sentimental will also be issuing a limited run of 100 cassettes.
Though the band has been carving out territory in Los Angeles as of late 2015, Second Still‘s roots are drenched in the NYC underground. Recorded, mixed, and co-produced by Hillary Johnson (Bell Hollow, The Prids) and featuring artwork designed by Jean Lorenzo (Only Edges/Silent EM), the LP is eight tracks of post-punk perfection. While the anticipation sets in, feel free to catch the band live on the west coast, where they’ll be kicking off a short tour with fellow LA-based band Glaare.
03/30 – Pomona, CA (The Acerogami)
03/31 – La Puente, CA (unconfirmed)
04/01 – San Diego, CA (unconfirmed)
04/04 – San Francisco, CA (The Knockout)
04/05 – Sacramento, CA (Starlight Lounge)
04/06 – Oakland, CA (unconfirmed)
04/07 – Portland, OR (Out From The Shadows Festival)
04/08 – Seattle, WA (The Black Lodge)
04/16 – Los Angeles, CA (Part Time Punks @ The Echo)
Second Still tracklisting:
2. Try Not To Hide
4. New Barn
7. You Two So Alike