Saintseneca writes dark, rivetingly mysterious, painstakingly crafted songs that somehow retain a sense of mischief. Even when the Ohio band incorporates exotic instrumentation into moody ruminations on consciousness, the result can still convey all the pleasures of a three-minute power-pop anthem.
In the case of "Book Of The Dead On Sale" — a new one-off single, available for free download on the band's website — Saintseneca barely needs two minutes. And yet it's an intoxicating and fully formed little song, what with the way it rumbles and burbles through Zac Little's deadpan thoughts on math, ancient texts and footage of kittens.
The accompanying video (directed by Little and Jon Washington) provides a perfect match for the song's mystery, beauty and undercurrent of deep weirdness, as Saintseneca uses a fisheye lens to offer an appropriately twisted view of the world. In an email to NPR Music, Little offers up an explanation worthy of the song — complete with an apt comparison to the work of R. Crumb.
"Imagine seeing in all directions all at once — 360-degree vision," Little writes. "The video for 'Book Of The Dead On Sale' is a visual metaphor. We use footage captured in 360 degrees and display it flattened in one circular field of view.
"The visual reminds me of R. Crumb's psychedelic cartoons," he continues. "We riff off of that idea, aiming to create a cartoonish dreamscape. The loose story is told from the point of view of an apple — being eaten, then absorbed. The apple becomes the eater. The eater becomes the apple. 360 cameras, like other new technologies, create new possibilities. Perhaps they allow us to see in new ways? We see more at once than was ever before possible, and yet we find ourselves all the more disoriented by the new surreal world we create."
"Book Of The Dead On Sale" is out now. Saintseneca is on tour with Tigers Jaw.