Dup Crosson never intended for Saint Solitude to be his biggest project, but as bands he was in dissolved, he dove deeper and deeper into creating his own material under a new name. Saint Solitude began as a one-man-band, with Crosson taking charge of vocals and instrumental loops on the handful of EPs he has released in the past couple of years. He has since picked up a full band to join him as he tours in support of his most recent release, Journal of Retreat.
The album opens with the poppy "Soft Contact," which sets a smooth yet catchy pace for the album. Later comes "Dodger," a softer track that does well by breaking the album up a bit. After four songs of fairly standard indie pop/rock hooks, "Dodger" interrupts and slows things down for a few minutes . "Flocking Disaster" operates much in the same way as "Dodger" as it starts to bring the album to a close.
Light electric guitars form the foundation of Journal of Retreat. Crosson sprinkles in occasional bouts of piano or keyboards, thereby comfortably setting the album in the ever-expanding realm of indie rock. All of the songs are also wonderfully well-balanced, with no instrument overpowering another.
Journal of Retreat is definitely pop-tinged, but is far from giving off any sort of obnoxious in-your-face vibe. Crosson's voice is sometimes reminiscent of Ben Gibbard, but Saint Solitude is far from being any sort of Death Cab for Cutie copycat.
Saint Solitude performs at the Nightlight in Chapel Hill on Friday, July 9, but if you can't make it, you can catch them on Saturday, July 10 at the Pinhook in Durham or at any of several more dates throughout North Carolina this summer. Journal of Retreat is available now on Alive and Well Records.