SXSW Review: Saintseneca, Lost In The Trees, March 12, Flamingo Cantina

Saintseneca is a band living in the shadow of Jeff Mangum. The Columbus, Ohio band’s strummy, melodic tunes, somewhat abstract lyrics, and occasional bursts of noise definitely bring Mangum’s work in Neutral Milk Hotel to mind with hints of John Darnielle, Conor Oberst, and a bit of the stompiness of bands like The Lumineers also coming into the mix. This is not a bad thing by any means; the band’s got a good sound and put on an entertaining performance, but I feel like it’s definitely emblematic of the state of indie folk post-Neutral Milk Hotel. The influence of that band on many bands working within that genre is hard to understate. Saintseneca put on a compelling performance, but beyond their music I also have to note that singer Zac Little has an impressive moustache. I didn’t even notice it during their first song, but once I did, it was all I could notice. It almost seemed like it might swallow up the rest of his face. Well done, sir.

Following them onstage at Flamingo Cantina was Lost In The Trees. The Chapel Hill band, known for their orchestral folk pop, seems to have moved away from the folkier aspect of their sound, with Ari Picker leading the band through songs from their latest, Past Life, that featured a lot more electronic texture than in the past. The new-ish direction works for the band, expanding somewhat on their sound.

Posted on by Paul in South By Southwest

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