One of the many instruments you may hear Saintseneca play — beyond the banjo, baglama, bulbul, balalaika, bowed banjo, baritone ukulele, bass and bouzouki — is a stomp box. Basically, it's a roughly 2'x2' plywood floorboard meant for pounding the beat. At a show just before this Tiny Desk Concert, craftily bearded singer Zac Little put his boot right through that floorboard.
Saintseneca had its beginnings in the heart of a small Appalachian town in Ohio, and the band grew up at college in Columbus. This year's Dark Arc is a pastiche of gentle lyrical moments and punk anthems, often within the same tune and often with that aforementioned stomp, straight from a small wooden porch.
After Saintseneca left the Tiny Desk, I pointed the band to a hardware store to replace its broken floorboard — only to get a note a while later telling me that the new board had been destroyed within weeks. Here's a good sampling of what the group does best, though you should be sure to see Saintseneca in concert, where its fierceness is afoot.
- "Happy Alone"
- "Fed Up With Hunger"
- "Blood Bath"
Producers: Bob Boilen, Denise DeBelius; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Olivia Merrion, Nick Michael; photo by Olivia Merrion/NPR