Still Life Still
STILL LIFE STILL are a Canadian five-piece band from East York, Toronto, who play a textured and layered style of indie/grunge/pop style music. The band's line-up has undergone minor changes over the years, but currently consists of guitarists/vocalists Brendon Saarinen and Eric Young, bassist Derek Paulin, drummer Aaron Romaniuk and his brother, keyboardist/percussionist Josh Romaniuk.
Their debut LP "Girls Come Too" was released on Arts & Crafts August 25, 2009 with the first single "Pastel" put into rotation on Toronto radio stations. Girls Come Too is chock full of catchy melodies, deep lyrics, dynamic drumming and songs that will get stuck in your head for days.
Though all the band members are in their early 20's, SLS has been playing together for nearly ten years and their chemistry and experience make for good music and a dynamic live set. Their consistent play in Toronto indie circles has resulted in a large local fanbase that is eager to dance and party each time the band plays.
"Call me patriotic, but I thought it would be fitting to feature a Canadian band in today's column. Not because they're from my end of Toronto, East York that is, but because Still Life Still are one of those new, untouched bands that have the poise and sonic ingenuity to put the east end on the map of the city’s flourishing musicality (it’s not all just about Queen West, y’know, and before you wonder, I don’t know a soul in this band).
I can see Still Life Still garnering some Broken Social Scene comparisons, and although I hear some similarities — heavy layering, incidental background noise, a jammy looseness to the song structures, melodies buried six feet under, occasional and lackadaisical experimentation — they certainly shouldn’t have to worry about breaking up over an identity crisis.
There’s little out there right now to discover about the band, since the blogosphere has yet to really catch on, but what I think is fascinating and enjoyable just sitting through their playlist on MySpace is how consistent a listen the collection of songs are. Nothing stands out as too jingly, but the flow assures me whenever that debut LP arrives it will easily impress me.
The most notable pop song, “Knives in Cartoons,” is swift mover that’s jam-packed with melodies courtesy of a perpetual synth line, though the frenetic screaming and grungy Eric’s Trip-py framework of “Pastel” adds some gusto to their repertoire. But then “Haunted Glass” is half-awake and lethargic, akin to one of Atlas Sound’s better free blog tracks, and “Planets” is the suicidal longing, that has singer Josh creaking like Conor Oberst, delivering a micro-second hook that, every time, reminds me of “Islands in the Stream.”"