“…the song recalls bands like Hum and Nothing with its huge riffs and sweet, ethereal vocals, and the video captures that energy with a dramatic love story….” — Revolver
Ethereal doom pop unit SOM today unveils their video for “Center.” Now playing at Revolver, the track serves as the latest single from the band’s anxiously awaited new full-length, The Shape Of Everything, set for release via Pelagic Records January 21st, 2022.
Following the acclaim accrued by their 2018 debut The Fall, SOM — comprised of current and former members of Constants, Junius, and recent Grammy nominees Caspian — had planned to enter the studio in 2020 to record the follow-up. However, pandemic-induced lockdown forced them to improvise and record entirely remotely, producing 2021’s luscious Awake EP. This new workflow redefined SOM’s process, which carried into the completion of their forthcoming LP. Its concise compositions balance gritty riffs with airy vocal lines that will appeal to fans of Deftones and Tame Impala alike and are just as primed for rock radio as for shoegaze-loving connoisseurs. The intentional, self-imposed paradigm of minimalism, the aim to reduce each musical idea to its emotive essence is what makes the band sound huge — and of course the flawless, modern yet incredibly warm and rich production by vocalist and guitarist Will Benoit himself, gives SOM’s The Shape Of Everything its compelling power.
Elaborates Will Benoit, “‘Center’ was one of the first songs we worked on as a band remotely during lockdown. The vocals were originally written for another project that ultimately got shelved, but I really liked what I had come up with and couldn’t just leave them on a hard drive to die. The chorus has this anthemic, almost pop hook, but if you read the lyrics and look under the hood, the song is much darker. I love songs that present themselves one way on first listen, but can take you somewhere completely different the more you pay attention. I felt like there was room on The Shape Of Everything to explore a slightly different tone like this one, but outside the vocals, I honestly had no vision for where it could be taken musically. So we tried an experiment: can the band write music around an existing vocal? Particularly in a time when we couldn’t all be in the same room anyway, it seemed like a good time to try out a different approach. I sent the isolated vocal tracks to everyone on top of a simple drumbeat. [Guitarist] Joel [M. Reynolds] and [bassist] Justin [Forrest] went back and forth developing the instrumental melodies and dynamics until we settled on this big dirging riff that really only changes to make the verses drive harder. [Guitarist] Mike [Repasch-Nieves] added lush, drippy guitars over the top and brought the whole thing to life. It took a lot of Zoom calls and sending files back and forth, which probably made this the most challenging song to finish on the album — both lyrically and musically — but it’s heavy, it’s pretty, and it accomplishes a lot of what I hope to accomplish with SOM all inside of a four-minute song.”
Adds director Samia Zaidi of the video, “‘Center’ was an extremely special song to respond to cinematically. The heavy and hopeful way it oscillates between these big sweeping melodies, deep digging rhythms, and these incredibly vulnerable vocals and lyrics, it wastes no time grabbing you by the heart and taking you on an epic journey. It’s so human and relatable — we’ve all had these do-or-die moments when you find yourself pleading with loved ones or God or circumstance. It needed to be paired with something equally big, high stakes, and intimate. I knew immediately that this song was meant to pair with a love story, however the depth of the song required more complexity. The cinematic approach was heavily inspired by the dynamism of the song itself. The narrative was based on a true story told with the blessing of the couple it was inspired by, plus a classic Bollywood film I loved growing up, and just a touch of Bonnie and Clyde. I wanted to share this story because it was grounded in a real-life example of how it’s not only possible to find the fields beyond our differences, but valuable to do so. Given our modern reality where our variance is intentionally used to divide us instead of celebrated, I thought we could use a little hope. The human condition is universal. Love is universal.”
View SOM’s “Center” video, now playing at Revolver Magazine, at THIS LOCATION.
The Shape Of Everything will be available on CD, LP, and digital formats. Find preorders at THIS LOCATION. Fans of Deftones, Failure, Hum, Nothing, Slow Crush, Alcest, My Bloody Valentine, Tame Impala, and the like, pay heed.
The Shape Of Everything was recorded, mixed, and mastered at Benoit’s own Radar Studio in Connecticut – New England’s first solar-powered recording facility. The tracks are part of SOM’s ongoing mission to “leave this place better than we found it.”
Benoit co-founded the outfit with drummer and former Constants colleague Duncan Rich, as well as Adai founder and now-Caspian drummer Justin Forrest. While touring on The Fall, the band recruited old friends guitarists Mike Repasch-Nieves and Joel M. Reynolds, both formerly of Junius and Driftoff. While many artists lumbered in inactivity, SOM used the darkness of recent times to create and heal. The Shape of Everything’s introspective bliss is an insight into the kind of harmony the quintet seek to cultivate in all facets of life.
“SOM play the kind of somber, glimmering music that exudes a heavy fog of emotion and introspection around it.” – Kerrang!
“For modern lovers looking for something dark, sensual, and just edgy enough, SOM have released a dreamy shoegaze post-rock paean to sinful lust and the false piety of a secret romance.” – Revolver
“Post-rock super-collective SOM features alumni of Caspian, Junius and Constants. If you like the idea of glacial post-rock that at times feels like Deftones at their most shoegazey, then go check it out.” — BBC Radio 1 Rock Show host Daniel P. Carter
“Putting a heavy twist on a classic shoegaze sound and delivering it all in a dreamy package that’s equal parts melancholic and ethereal. It’s time to escape Earth for a while.” — Rock Sound
“Perfect for laying in a pile of leaves while quietly pondering everywhere you went wrong in life.” – MetalSucks
Will Benoit – vocals, guitars
Justin Forrest – bass
Mike Repasch-Nieves – guitars
Joel M. Reynolds – guitars
Duncan Rich – drums