I intended to post this last night. But it just wasn’t happening. You know … brain freeze, writer’s block, just plain tired … call it what you will. So Saturday morning it is.
Second Still is more suited to an evening listen, particularly the mercurial single “Sleep,” hence my introduction. This track reminds me of all types of surrealist sounds from the mid-to-late ’80s alternative music scene. But for the life of me, I can’t tell you what specifically. I think that’s why I’m drawn to it. There’s something slightly intangible lurking beneath this sonically spectral somnambulism.
“Sleep” features a hypnotic whirligig of soft guitar reverb and deceptively stark drum patterns, sewn together with some hauntingly soft-spoken vocals from artist Suki San. It’s not a dark sound, nor is it one bathed in light. It feels more akin to the spaces in-between, for those ambiguous moments where you’re on the verge of sleep. You might even think of it as a chilled bedtime story to lull you into whatever dream world suits you.
Second Still is a trio local to Los Angeles. And if you haven’t guessed by now, they’re firmly steeped in the coldwave, post-punk aura of today. Yet they also channel the spirit of the alternative, new wave, and gothic movements of the mid-to-late ’80s. Think classic 4AD bands like Xmal Deutschland, early Cocteau Twins, and Clan of Xymox, who they opened for last month at the Echoplex. I would even throw in a little bit of the vocal stylings of Siouxsie Sioux to round it out.
Here’s Second Still’s “Sleep” to start out your day, or end it, depending on where it suits your listening schedule. It might even work for those afternoon naps … who knows?
“Sleep” from the 2017 album “Second Still”.