“It wasn’t meant to be the name a saint has, but a quality – like, ‘oh, that guy has saint solitude.’”
Dup Crosson needs some space.
As the architect and sole songwriter of Saint Solitude, he will be the first to tell you that for every public musical endeavor there is an equal and opposite need to recharge and reflect. The multi-instrumentalist says he’s only musically introverted, but that character still inhabits his output. Saint Solitude has evolved from an early incarnation of sparse, wintry Thom Yorke-esque solo material to a high-volume loop act, and then to indie-pop power trio and beyond.
The project, initially designed as nothing more than the means for a consistent songwriting outlet, quickly became Crosson’s focal point as he toured solo for several years in support of two self-released EPs. The first full-length, 2010’s Journal of Retreat, was home-recorded in a one-bedroom house in a cheap-rent neighborhood in Asheville, NC — Crosson’s on-again, off-again home base for the past 8 years. The record explores everything from Britpop-meets-post-punk snap (“Let’s Try it,” “And After”) to gently apocalyptic organ-driven gospel (“Flocking Disaster”). Most daring, possibly, is the build from precise minimalism to Spiritualized-level noisegaze in the defiant, literate “So Much for the Secret.”
An ensuing solo tour took him coast to coast in an aging Saturn sedan. He slept under the stars and made side-trips to National Parks, liberally mixing Thoreau and Kerouac. After three months on the road with his loop pedal he returned to Asheville dreaming of a rhythm section. Crosson — a drummer at heart — dropped the one-man show and brought in a backing band. With sharp, precise drums and a bassist who actively complemented Crosson’s articulate guitar stylings, Saint Solitude’s live show quickly surpassed the energy set forth on Journal of Retreat and took the band up and down the East Coast throughout 2010.
Saint Solitude’s second album, By Some Great Storm, was released in September 2011, and found Crosson experimenting with expanded song structures, as well as fuzzed-to-death guitars reminiscent of his beloved Smashing Pumpkins. The group continued to expand in late 2011, touring as a 4-piece for the first time, playing CMJ Music Festival and opening for Ted Leo & the Pharmacists along the way.
After a return to his native Maine, Crosson put SS on an indefinite touring hiatus and in 2013 released A Crack in the Snow Mortar, a homecoming record true to his myriad influences and lofty ambitions. In 2014, Crosson played drums in Lady Lamb the Beekeeper across the U.S. supporting Typhoon and finished a collection of instrumentals, Flux Camoufleurs, Vol. I, planned for release in early 2015.
It’s evolution in the same adventurous spirit that once set this artistic nomad charging through America’s obscure heart armed with a loop pedal, a Telecaster, and a keyboard.
— Corbie Hill, Shuffle Magazine/The Independent Weekly/Option Magazine
Copyright 2016 Saint Solitude
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