I came across Santah at the recommendation of a friend. After repeated listens, I remain without a tidy, perfectly-sized box to place their LP White Noise Bed. The songs feel familiar, and some comparisons can certainly be made.
Lead singer, Stanton McConnell’s vocals are similar to Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend, but any similarities with VW end there. Watching the Big Ugly Yellow Couch vids, I couldn’t help being reminded of Givers Tiny Desk performance which was previously featured, HERE. But White Noise Bed is devoid of the addictive hooks and heavy percussion that dominate Givers’ self-titled debut.
The quintet met while attending the University of Illinois. I will try not to hold that against them, despite my disdain for Illini basketball coach Bruce Weber. Their album proves relatable and radio friendly. Perhaps that’s why they have not received any hometown love from Pitchfork. Santah pulls off its accessibility without compromising. The tracks don’t feel trite or over-produced. It’s just good, clean music. Well-crafted songwriting need not be a sin.
McConnell’s sister Vivian has joined the band since the recording of the album, and is featured in these videos. The Big Ugly Yellow Couch sessions do not do justice to depth of the music on White Noise Bed, but they were too much fun to pass up. Santah will be playing at White Rabbit Cabaret alongside Dan Snodgrass of Muncie’s The Bonesetters—another band we at Thought on Tracks are major fans of. The show starts at 8 and promises to be a worthwhile release from the work week. I will be there. You should too.
Written by Rob Peoni