What a progression! In 2010, Social Studies released their debut LP, Wind Up Wooden Heart, adorned with lovable indie-pop songs. At the time, I likened it to a matured and female-fronted pre-Islands band The Unicorns. But revisiting it, I also hear some Mates of State references. Still, none of the likened-to-this, or sounds-like-that do this band justice. Not then, and even less now. “Terracur”, off Social Studies’ sophomore LP Developer, debuted last week, and it demonstrates a substantial progression for the young band.
“Terracur” departs from the modern indie pop sound Social Studies gave us in 2010. Where Wind Up Wooden Heart was playful and lighthearted, “Terracur” hints at Developer being a bit more moody and introspective.
Natalia Rogovin (vocals, keyboard) delivers highly matured vocals; they’re deeper, filled with more thoughtful lyrics, slightly more emotive. Michael Jirkovsky (drums) strips away the fill for a laid-back, refined percussion. And on guitars, Jesse Hudson (bass) and Tom Smith (guitar) have been joined by a second guitarist, Ben McClintock.
The addition of McClintock is an added bonus, rounding out the band and allowing for the lead to shine. These songs are personal; Natalia notes in an interview with Nylon:
The album is about art, but it’s also a cinematic exploration of those turning points in life that you didn’t see coming and didn’t realize were important until much later
Sounds right on the mark to me.
Social Studies will release Developer via Antenna Farm Records on November 13, 2012.