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September 2022

Apr 21, 2014



Dark Arc

If only the good ones die young, I pray your destruction come swift like a thief in the night.

When Saintseneca came into our studio on March 8th, I thought nothing they could do would possibly impress me more than their lead singer’s squirrel tail of a mustache; I thought this until that same man began to sing on the first track of their latest album, Dark Arc. His voice cracks and trembles almost as if he was incapable of growing such glorious facial hair yet, because he was still in the midst of puberty.

Now many would not call this description a compliment. They would say, "I listen to music for the sound, not the mustache it comes from. I appreciate a good 'stache as much as the next guy, but what of the music? I prefer my vocals sans voice cracks."


To those same many I say, keep listening. The sound works. Saintseneca isn't folk, it isn't pop, and it isn't rock. To be 100% honest, I don't have any idea what the hell it is, and Wikipedia doesn't have a page for them I can steal the description from. What I can say is that it is good.

In researching the band, every article I read placed them from Columbus, Ohio, except one, which referred to them as "Appalachian," and that is the location I get in my head when listening to their album Dark Arc. 'Appalachian hipster' is how I would describe their sound, in a way. It seems folky and mountainous, rural and nearly old fashioned, in many ways Appalachian, just not in the Deliverance way.

It's the soundtrack for hiking up a grassy mountain in the Ozarks and upon reaching the top, gazing out upon the wilderness below as the wind blows in your hair. The camera would start with shot from behind you. Your head would block the sun from the viewer creating magnificent lens flare across the screen and silhouetting your body against the awesome nature. The camera then would then rise with the voices of the band and begin to swirl around you. You would shout triumphantly with the liberation of being in nature but no one would hear because the swelling music behind you. You have finally arrived.  That music, if you forgot from earlier in the paragraph, would be a song from Dark Arc.


I visualize each voice, instrument, and note as a person, marching for a cause. It starts with one, a lone marcher walking stubbornly down an empty street until slowly, as the song builds, something incredible happens. More people join, one by one they join. Defiantly they come together to create a force unlike anything before.  Then the song peaks, and slowly they began to step back leaving our protagonist once again alone. This phenomenon is nearly every song on the album. Dark Arc an incredible feat of elements coming together, and then vaporizing as if they were never there. It’s a feat you have to listen to again and again to believe is real.

Abe Solberg