SAINT SLUMBER ‘YOUTH//3’: The Culmination of ‘YOUTH’

saint slumber youth//3
Photo by Keira Zhou

New Jersey indie-rock band, SAINT SLUMBER, completed their YOUTH// EP trilogy Friday with the release of YOUTH//3. The three-piece, made up of lead vocals Josh Perna, guitarist Aaron Brown, and drummer Matt Carpenter, has focused on the concept of youth and its fragility throughout the trilogy. Today I chat with drummer Matt Carpenter about why YOUTH//3 is “brutally sad,” finding their sound, and what’s next for SAINT SLUMBER.

‘YOUTH//3’: Grieving the Loss of YOUTH

PoetryDansLaRue: So, the EP is out now, which is very exciting! I know it was mentioned that YOUTH//3 is “brutally sad,” can you pinpoint one of the five songs that was more emotional or difficult to write?

SAINT SLUMBER: “I would say, “THIS TOO SHALL PASS.” It’s a big, sad ballad. I think it’s going to tug on the heartstrings of people. There are a few lines in there that make you want to tear up. Josh writes all the lyrics, so it’s more personal for him, but we can all relate to what he’s talking about.”

PDLR: Is that the [only] one that sticks out as “brutally sad” or is the theme to the EP more emotional stripped-down songs?

SAINT SLUMBER: “I’d say that there is a more emotional theme to the whole EP. Especially since it’s a culmination of the whole topic that occurs throughout the YOUTH trilogy. YOUTH//3 is a final statement, grieving the loss of youth.”

PDLR: With it being five years since the beginning of the trilogy, has your perspective of the concept of youth changed?

SAINT SLUMBER: “I’m the oldest member of the band. I’m 28 years old, but at heart, I always feel like I’m a 14/15-year-old kid. I think it’s holding onto that aspect of wonder and awe of life and the innocence of being young. It never really goes away. You have to grow up and mature a little bit, but it doesn’t entirely go away. I don’t know if too much of my perspective has changed. I think in general, we did our best throughout the trilogy to encapsulate that feeling. Some of these songs aren’t very old, so they are pretty fresh ideas.”

Finding Their “MANTRA”

PDLR: Is there a defining song from the trilogy that you would recommend to new fans?

SAINT SLUMBER: “For me, I’d say it’s “MANTRA.” What we thought was interesting throughout the whole YOUTH trilogy was not only topically, that it’s about maturing and the loss of youth, but that by YOUTH//3 our sound has evolved the most. We feel like this EP is the sound that we’ve been trying to reach for the past five years. “MANTRA” was the one that immediately, once the song was in its finishing process, that we were like, “This is it!” Although I do think people are going to like “BIG BIG LOVE.” I think it’s the most unique song that we’ve written so far.”

Coincidentally, “MANTRA” was the first song that I heard by them. The theory checks out, in my opinion.

Before ‘YOUTH//’

PDLR: In the early days of songwriting before YOUTH//1, what artists did you draw inspiration from to create your sound?

SAINT SLUMBER: “I think it’s been a long process of the development of our sound. We all grew up playing in metal and hardcore and post-hardcore bands. So that’s our background, and I think that will always be part of us. It influenced our current sound and especially our live show. As you get older, as you mature, you want to create music that is a little bit more you. So, we grew up also with The 1975. We were on the earlier end of The 1975 (THEY STAN AND WE ARE HERE FOR IT). We looked up to bands like Imagine Dragons that were redefining the indie sound. Radiohead has been a big influence to us as well. I could name a million bands…”

After ‘YOUTH//’

PDLR: So, I hear that the 4th EP is already in the making? Does EP 4 have a completely different vibe? Or is it stemming from the momentum from the 3rd EP?

SAINT SLUMBER: “The next batch of music is coming from what we’ve been writing throughout the YOUTH// process. We didn’t necessarily think that they belonged on any one of the albums. They still fall within the same vibe. Not that these are leftover songs, but they are other ones that we had in our pocket. Then we have some MORE songs too for the future that kind of break away from that vibe a little.”

PDLR: Aside from EP 3 and 4, what’s next for SAINT SLUMBER? Can we expect any shows soon?

SAINT SLUMBER: “We are right now, most focused on getting tours. We are hoping to book some shows soon for the fall. We do want to get some live shows in New York and Philly in the earlier fall.”

We will be on the lookout for sure! Check out YOUTH//3 and the trilogy in its entirety with this SAINT SLUMBER playlist below!

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PLAKE Nix the Filter On Raw New Single “Bleeding Out”

Plake Bleeding Out

Hunter Plake made his break-out debut on The Voice Season 12 by turning the chairs of Alicia Keys and Gwen Stefani. Initially joining team Alicia but later stolen by Gwen, he made a lasting impression on Voice fans nationwide. Today we talk about his band, PLAKE, with brother Dakota and their newest track, “Bleeding Out.”

Recommendation: If you haven’t already, listen to the song NOW! Try to focus on the lyrics and the message and your overall first impression of it without context.

On New Single”Bleeding Out”

PLAKE dropped their new emotionally transparent single “Bleeding Out” on August 2nd after a ten-month hiatus from releasing music. Upon asking about the concept and process behind the making of the song and his struggle with depression here is what Hunter had to say:

PLAKE: “I mean, people don’t really write about it [depression] because you feel like it’s an embarrassing thing. Honestly, I think being a creative person, when I experience emotions, I don’t feel half-assed with any emotion. If I’m experiencing love, I experience it very intensely, anger, etc. When I wrote the song, it’s about the feelings of depression. It’s constructed in a way where it talks about the different stages of it and where you end up mentally at the end. At the end, the reason why I switched the lyrics up, the reason why I did that is because that’s how you get out of depression. You start to care about other people instead of just yourself.”

“This is the first time that we released a song that’s so intense. I like to say that we have pretty different sides to our band: our happy side with songs like “Eden,” and then “Bleeding Out” is the most extreme sad version of our band that we have.”

Unfortunately the music video for “Bleeding Out” was recently removed, but Hunter describes it as “very dream-like.” He explains that the video paints a picture of your average person struggling with day-to-day life and using devices as a distraction to escape depression. In the video, his brother, Dakota, is “trying to get him out of the virtual world and back to reality.” We will be on the lookout for the repost in the future!

On the Songwriting Process

PoetryDansLaRue: Can you guys talk about your songwriting process? Who does most of the writing? Who does the producing?

PLAKE: “I write my best when I’m honestly by myself. I do like writing with people too sometimes. With an emotional song like “Bleeding Out,” I wrote the song, and then after that, I had ideas of where I wanted to go with production because I’m producing as I write too. I start with a melody, and I have that melody in my head. That’s kind of how our song begins. Once we start recording it, we start picking it apart. When we’re doing that, both of us are in the studio. Dakota is playing guitar mostly and helping me get a fresh perspective on what’s inside my head.”

PDLR: So, “Eden” was the first song that you released as a band and you released eight songs after that, correct? For some reason, I could not access “Hurricane Lovers” on Apple Music…?

PLAKE: “We released seven songs after “Eden,” including “Bleeding Out.” We released “Hurricane Lovers,” and we pulled that one down, “Scared,” and “Cold Vibes,” we pulled down. So those, that we pulled down, there’s different reasons behind each one, but we just realized it was a hard left. We see ourselves as what we’re gonna be in the future and anything that might hurt us, we eliminate.”

PDLR: Which song do you feel represents your sound the most and the sound that you’re going for in the future?

PLAKE: “My answer is going to be the same as every artist. Whatever we just released is gonna be the answer because we just did it. But, it’s a journey, if we look back on it in twenty years, we might see a different version of us. Right now, “Bleeding Out” is exactly what we want.”

On The Voice

PDLR: Can I go back a little and talk about The Voice? Do you keep in contact with any of the coaches/contestants?

PLAKE: “I stay in contact with the contestants. As far as the coaches go, the show and my relationships with the coaches are not as personal as you would think. So, I haven’t stayed in touch with them. There are a few people from the show that I stay in touch with.”

PDLR: I feel there is a little bit of a disconnect from following some of The Voice contestants throughout the years…

PLAKE: “Honestly, unless you’re an internet meme, blowing up overnight doesn’t happen. I made the decision that I was doing music full time before I even auditioned. So, when I went there, I thought it was convenient, and I could get a little bit of attraction. Since then it’s been making connections with people in the music industry. A lot of our connections came from the show and us just reaching out to people. It helps being on the show to reach out to producers, etc. I think the disconnect you’re talking about is the fact that people don’t blow up overnight. They might go there and expect that they will. That’s not how it works if they don’t put in the work like every other artist, building your sound and building your image.”

Coming Soon

PDLR: What’s next for PLAKE?

PLAKE: “We’re about to release the rest of our projects and are planning that out right now. Probably going to be a single next month and a full EP in October. The rest of the EP is more based on relationships with kind of the same sound as “Bleeding Out.”

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Check out this PLAKE playlist below for more!