Saint Solitaire elevates its electro dance rock with new EP Versus Resistance

Say goodbye to Andrew Barnhart’s beard at Saint Solitaire’s EP release show Saturday.

Saint Solitaire’s EP listening party last night was a sight to behold: 50 friends and music-lovers sitting in Kupro’s, bobbing their heads, tapping their feet and not saying a word.

Surely it wasn’t just out of respect to Andrew Barnhart, the driving force behind indie dance rock band Saint Solitaire. It was because the new EP, Versus Resistance, holds some damn fine sounds that demand concentration. Saint Solitaire does not make background music.

Versus Resistance is the six-piece band’s second release, and it officially drops Saturday at the second annual Summer Opus party. (For more info on that intimate gathering, check out Saint Solitaire’s Facebook… You may wish to go if, for no other reason, to see Barnhart shave off his formidable beard mid-set.)

Back to the album. Seven tracks make up 25 minutes of experimental pop-rock that’s catchy, edgy and still grooveable. As with Saint Solitaire’s debut EP Full Artistic Control, which Barnhart actually recorded by himself, synthesizers and electronic samples are heavily utilized. His voice is still dynamic—sometimes quiet and soft, sometimes closer to a hardcore punk singer. But Versus Resistance feels more elevated, full and polished.

Particularly notable is the final track, “Full Artistic Control,” which was actually meant to be on Full Artistic Control. But the song just needed more work, so Barnhart sat on it for more than three years. It’s challenging and richly textured, with samples of Bjork to boot.

“I have a lot of feelings right now,” Barnhart said before hitting play for the first time. At the end of the album, friends threw itty-bitty scraps of white paper–basically confetti, right?–at Barnhart. Applause abounded.

Well done.

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