…euphoric question marks for the ears…
That’s how Son Step, the band currently split between Philly and Brooklyn, thinks of their music. And questions they do raise. On “Wavesee”, the second song we’ve debuted off of their forthcoming LP Ova Nova, the flickering guitar notes open the track with a mind-blurring oscillation. That kind of opener gives no indication of what sound might follow or when the tinny reverberation will stop. But then the rim rapping of the drums come in over twinkly guitar and hypnotic, almost chanted, vocals.
When I talked with the band a few months ago, they said they were making a conscious decision to move away from off-kilter, almost mindfully idiosyncratic songwriting to make more “mantric” music, which is how a jazz-trained musician describes the pulsing repetition most of us crave to varying degrees. It’s not the same old shit they’re repeating. That gets old upon first listen. See: 32 of the current Top 40.
Son Step, however, turns the unusual on loop. The drum’s tapping on solid material instead of skin. The staccato yet ethereal vocals, which, on their own pull in attention but when brought into a counter harmony really send a zing up your spine. The chorus—pretty, repetitive, melodic—takes small doses of idiosyncrasies from Jon, Chris, Matthew and Patrick and puts them on a blossoming loop. Ultimately, “Wavesee” opens up and grows into lush pop song built with industrial-strength precision.
Listen to “Wavesee” below and keep scrolling for Son Step’s release shows in Philly and New York. Ova Nova comes out September 18.
Ova Nova Release Shows
18 Philly – Boot & Saddle w/ Grandchildren, Drone Ranger
24 Manhattan – Piano’s w/ Isadora, Floating Compass, Owel