Atmospheric rock collective/recent Pelagic Records signees SOM – comprised of current and former members of Constants, Junius, and Caspian – today unveil a moving video for “Youth // Decay.” Now playing at Revolver Magazine, the hypnotic track comes by way of the band’s Awake EP, set for release next month.
Of the track, Revolver champions, “five minutes of glimmering melancholy,” further observing, “SOM… specialize in a gauzy, feedback-soaked sound… It’s not far flung from the output of high-volume shoegazers such as Deftones or Hum.”
Elaborates vocalist/guitarist Will Benoit, “Before the first SOM record was done, [guitarist] Mike [Repasch-Nieves] and I were both feeling creatively and musically adrift. We got together for a couple days, recording ambient guitar and synths over glitchy beats in an attempt to change things up. Two years later when Mike and [guitarist] Joel [M. Reynolds] joined the band, I edited some of Mike’s demo parts from that session to form the main melodies in ‘Youth // Decay.’ I arranged the chords and vocals and brought it to the group. During quarantine, we all passed the demo back and forth. Slowly, this minimal, sparse piece of music grew into a dynamic, crushing song that is also the first track we finished as a five-piece.”
Adds Repasch-Nieves, “Similarly, the video started as a short film that my friend and long-time colleague, director Adam Patch, had been working on. As soon as we finished the song, I knew it would be perfect for this, lyrically and thematically. We shared the song and footage with editor Samia Zaidi — who also directed our recent video for ‘Awake // Sedate.’ She took it and really brought everything into focus. It was quite serendipitous how it all came together in this way.”
Combining two exclusive originals with remixes by beloved collaborators Holy Fawn, Hisself (Johnny Dang of O’Brother), U Dye (Marshall Gallagher of Teenage Wrist), and Giuseppe Capolupo (The Devil Wears Prada), Awake is a triumph of self-described “heavy dream pop.” Its concise compositions balance the gritty riffs of Deftones with airy, Tame Impala-esque vocal lines, just as primed for rock radio success as they are for shoegaze-loving connoisseurs.
Awake will be released independently on limited-edition cassette and digitally via Nuclear Blast’s digital subsidiary, Blood Blast Distribution, on March 5th. Find preorders at THIS LOCATION. CD and vinyl editions of Awake will be released by Pelagic Records March 12th with preorders now available at THIS LOCATION.
SOM was founded by Duncan Rich, frontman and former Constants colleague Will Benoit, and Adai founder and now-Caspian drummer Justin Forrest. While touring in support of their debut full-length The Fall in 2019, the band added guitarists Mike Repasch-Nieves and Joel M. Reynolds, both formerly of Junius and Driftoff. “We’ve always been a musical family,” notes Rich.
“Will and I started a label, Radar Recordings, in Boston during the early 2000s, which was an amazing time and place for music,” says Repasch-Nieves. “It was very much a collective of like-minded artists, which grew as we all toured around the world together in the years to follow.” Awake however is far from the five longtime friends’ only endeavor to create a better world around them. Despite being recorded in quarantine, the EP was mixed by Benoit at his own Radar Studio in Connecticut – New England’s first solar-powered recording facility. Repasch-Nieves and Reynolds, meanwhile, spent 2020 sustaining an urban farm in New York City, while Forrest distributed vegan food to Black Lives Matter activists in Denver through the Summer. Equally philanthropic is Rich, who now uses his production experience to host emotional fluency events for men. While many musicians lumbered in inactivity, SOM used the darkness of recent times to create and heal. The tracks on Awake are part of SOM’s ongoing mission to “leave this place better than we found it.” Awake’s bliss is an insight not only into the kind of harmony the quintet seeks to cultivate in all facets of life, but also the exciting second full-length that looms on the horizon.
“…thick and hazy but with soaring vocal harmonies that add a lightness to the song.” – BrooklynVegan on “Awake // Sedate”
“SOM play the kind of somber, glimmering music that exudes a heavy fog of emotion and introspection around it.” – Kerrang!
“Perfect for laying in a pile of leaves while quietly pondering everywhere you went wrong in life.” – MetalSucks