Saintface

Saintface

BandAlternativeRock

"Saintface draws smartly from '80s and '90s England: Smiths-like swooning, Britpop atmospherics and Suede/Oasis guitar heft give their well-wrought songs depth and crunch."-The Village Voice

Biography

Whisper it: the great New York City rock & roll goldrush has come and gone. Every last scenester has squeezed into his too-tight leather jacket, cocked his designer bedhead just so and had a stab at the glam racket, greedily snapping at the heels of the handful of acts whose own photocopied sounds and moves somehow added up to a breathless media scene. Every eighth note has been pummelled, every tinny narcissist tune drawled–douse the lights on the Bowery, lock up the Lower East Side. And don’t even think about cabbing it out to Brooklyn.

But if you peered past the style press of course there was more: a handful who swam knowingly against the tide of fashion and fickle ears, outsiders who traded in music as timeless as the city itself and who refused to be brushed aside; purveyors of the classic song married to a whiplash crunch, all the while sketching the one-room dramas playing out above, below, and across from your own–telling apartment stories. Imagine Cole Porter with a Marshall stack: and you’d arrive at Saintface.

In 2002 songwriter, singer and arch romantic Peter Riley realized his one-man bedroom demos required a five-man real-world band and summoned his wayward childhood compatriot Michael Parkin back from London. With Parkin duly installed on keyboards the two in short order snapped up Queens-bred dandy and occasional bassist Joseph Babic; proofreader and former heavy metal drummer Andy Elder; and after numerous false starts (including a guitarist who pathologically refused to acknowledge the rest of them in rehearsals), the crashing fretboard theatrics of David Blake.

Self-produced in Riley’s kitchen in 2002, Saintface’s Hudson & Day EP won the band a fervent New York following and acclaim in town and abroad (with one reviewer likening the disc to a “sunset singalong at Glastonbury”), yet marked them out as a different breed altogether from the artless garage squall of the moment. The band honed its songs, sound, and show (which saw them treading the boards with acts like The Bravery, The National, and My Favorite while prompting the Village Voice to write, “Fainting flower indie kids should mind themselves close to the stage–the fourth wall comes down pretty fast in Riley’s path”) before finally grabbing the bull fully by the horns and launching into the self-produced sessions for their debut LP.

The fruit of that labor is APARTMENT STORIES, eleven songs crackling with the wit and romance of city life, a record with a huge heart and a tongue planted firmly in its cheek; the kind they made when great songs were for putting a skip in your step or letting you know you weren’t the last in line to be loved. Recorded on stolen time and an overtaxed iBook in freezing Times Square rehearsal rooms, mixed within an inch of its life by Godfrey Diamond (who’s done time with everyone from Frank Sinatra to Lou Reed), APARTMENT STORIES is a blast of exuberance cut with a heady dose of melancholy, a record defiantly unafraid of wearing its emotions on its admittedly well-tailored sleeve.

It’s there in the boozy pounce of A Few Kind Women, the jubilant backbeat of That Word Is Love, and the lyrical come-on that is There Is a Room; the would-be Hollywood romance of Hudson & Day, the transatlantic swoon of Hand On My Heart, and the wearily raised glass of You Belong To Me (recorded on the family upright after Parkin’s ten rounds with the staircase).

It’s guts, humor, sex, melody, pop–they all fit Saintface to a tee. These, then, are their APARTMENT STORIES.

Lyrics

Hand On My Heart

Written By: P. Riley

So much for that lazy summer
The rented room where we read each other
I thought I'd get to spend it with you
A frantic night and a frenzied morning
Pack for your flight and leave without warning
We both know he's home waiting for you
‘Cause with your penchant for booze
And expensive cigarettes
Am I fool if I choose
To taste your kiss on my breath?
We may be oceans apart
And different hours to bed
But with my hand on my heart
I swear I love you to death
So much for that cozy winter
Huddled away from a wind so bitter
Instead I spent it freezing for you
Learned to subsist on a dashed-off letter
A drunken stare says I could do better
Is he out there doing better to you?
‘Cause with your penchant for booze
And expensive cigarettes
Am I fool if I choose
To taste your kiss on my breath?
We may be oceans apart
And different hours to bed
But with my hand on my heart
I swear I love you to death
Come back to me
Won’t you come back to me?
Won’t you come back?
With your penchant for booze…

That Word Is Love

Written By: P. Riley

You move into my town
And all the birds start to sing again
All the leaves leap off the ground
And all the bells start to ring again
And there is just one way
For me to say the things
That I want to say
And there is just one tune
That seems to play whenever
You're in the room
And there is just one word
So let me fuel any rumor you heard
Well here I go
For all I know
That word is love
You round up all my friends
And teach them all to get along again
All my wounds are on the mend
Hell, you even got me writing songs again
And there is just one way
For me to say the things
That I want to say
And there is just one tune
That seems to play whenever
You're in the room
And there is just one word
So let me fuel any rumor you heard
Well here I go
For all I know
That word is love
And there is just one way
For me to say the things
That I want to say
And there is just one tune
That seems to play whenever
You're in the room
And there is just one word
So let me fuel any rumor you heard
Well here I go
For all I know
That word is love, oh yeah
Well here I go
What do I know
That word is love
L-O-V-E love.

Hudson & Day

Written By: P. Riley

Here we are
The booze has brought us face to face
I can tell
I won’t be going home
I must confess
I never used to like this place
That was when
I’d leave here on my own
You’ll go to your job on Monday
Tell them with whom you woke up on Sunday
They’ll never understand
But make me part of the masterplan, ‘cause
We could be for each other
The ten-to-one bet that pays
We could meet one another
Somewhere more interesting than halfway
We could be for each other
Rock Hudson and Doris Day
Hey, hey
What do you say?
Here we are
A car has brought us to your room
Now we let
Un-nature take its course
I must confess
I’ve never swung this way before
It’ll end
In true love or divorce
You’ll call up your mom on Monday
Tell her with who you whom you woke up on Sunday
She’ll never understand
Still, make me part of the masterplan, ‘cause
We could be for each other
The ten-to-one bet that pays
We could meet one another
Somewhere more interesting than halfway
We could be for each other
Rock Hudson and Doris Day
Hey, hey
What do you say?

Discography

Apartment Stories LP (Spring 2006)
Hudson & Day EP
Saintface EP

Set List

40 min, 9 songs

It Can't Mean Much
New York's Favorite Plaything
There Is a Room
Never Leave My Mind
That Word Is Love
Hudson & Day
A Few Kind Women
Hand On My Heart
Stop Feeling Sorry For Yourself