SOM: A Dark Serenity

This post was originally published on this site

Straight of the bat, SOM are one of those bands that have always done big, post-rock sounds right. Rather than endlessly droning, they make a conscious, emotionally charged music that has a sense of purpose. We caught up about their latest record The Shape Of Everything with vocalist and guitarist Will Benoit about mindful creating and the evolution of music making in the wake of the pandemic.

While there is no doubt that SOM have a distinct post-rock sound, but an immediate nod as to why is in the length of their songs. “We come from a post-rock and post-metal background,” agrees Will. “We lean towards longer songs, but it was a conscious idea to sort of tease them out; instead of making these eight minute songs, lets pack them into four minute songs to make it a little more digestible. It feels more like a rollercoaster then than a slow build. So, in the context of an album, we absolutely think about act one, act two, act three. It’s not a literal narrative, but there is something bigger we want to accomplish when we’re writing for sure.”

Their latest record The Shape Of Everything has the two-fold effect of being melancholy, of feeling deep and low, while also taking an uplifting tone that adds a catharsis. The record feels like an accompaniment through some of the harder times we’re going through as a society. “The first record in my head is about hitting the bottom, this one is about how to reframe reality to be more positive,” Will tells us. “You caught the uplifting stuff up there, and there is some dark stuff in there, because the world is a tough, dark place for some people. But trying to contextualise that and stay as positive as possible in these uncertain times, that’s sort of been the different between the two records in my mind. Which really is a world of difference.”

It’s a personal feeling record, with big tones that weight on you. That’s not to say that it is a negative feeling record, more so it’s the kind of record that feels like it’s there with you, as company and as a comfort in any low moments. It’s the kind of record to make you feel less alone, it’s weight there to embrace you and remind you that times will get better. While there is a monumental feeling to the record, there’s no overcrowding in this space. “That was the other thing with this band, I always wanted an emotional basis to it that maybe wasn’t as strong as some of the other bands I’ve been a part of. It’s a lot of late nights, waking up in the middle of the night with ideas. Scrambling to put ideas down on a phone. There was a fair amount of weight for sure. But I’ve been doing it for such a long time now, I know my balance. I know when I’m losing the thread, and I’m able to walk away, maybe go to the beach for a half an hour and inevitably something will have clicked. I can then get something done in twenty minutes that would have taken five hours I’ve have just sat there, banging my head against it.”

The process itself for making music through a pandemic has changed the way in which SOM has created this record, and potentially the next record to come. “It’s funny, I was thinking about this morning was I was writing some stuff for the next record,” Will muses with a smile, “what a crazy idea we have on how to create a record. Like, hey let’s get five people into a room and everybody has to be creative now, right now. Then everyone goes their own way and you can’t work on stuff. Now that we’re doing it this way, it feels more intuitive. I mean, obviously getting in a room together and getting loud is awesome and I can’t wait to get into doing that again, but there’s something to be said for doing it this way. Someone can put on their headphones and dig in and think about what they’re making. Hopefully in the future we can a do both.”

While The Shape Of Everything has been a step on a new path to making music in a fresh and malleable way for SOM, there were obviously challenges with balancing that huge sound and knowing when was appropriate for each instrument to shine. “That was honestly the biggest challenge,” Will nods, “This is my first band where there are three guitarists. It took a while, and a lot of conversations and demoing things. Sometime it would feel like maybe this thing is too much here, it an come in later. Or even, maybe my guitar doesn’t have to be there, it isn’t necessary at this point. Trying to focus on the best thing for the song and find an ebb and flow to the song. A fair amount of work went into that.”

The Shape Of Everything is out now via Pelagic Records.

Like SOM on Facebook.

The post SOM: A Dark Serenity appeared first on Distorted Sound Magazine.

You May Also Like