While Santah is certainly young, the band's members are less green than they are bright-eyed and hopeful. And they've spent more time together than their brief catalog -- one LP and one EP -- would indicate. Lead singer and guitarist Stan McConnell started the band shortly after enrolling as a freshman at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Stan knew Steve from high school, and he soon met Otto, who was friends with Tommy. The four started playing together four or five nights a week, for two or three hours at a time. "When I started the band, that was just what we did," recalls McConnell. "We're going to practice every day. Because if you care about it, that's what's up."
All of that hard work was put on record around the time they graduated from university. The result was 2010's self-released "White Noise Bed," a collection of lamplit pop songs that embodied the beginning of the band's career and the end of McConnell's relationship with his girlfriend. It was followed by a period of significant change: His younger sister, Vivian, joined the group; one-by-one the members moved to Chicago; the band began touring in earnest; and eventually McConnell fell in love again.
Themes of change and longing for comfort course through their subsequent EP, "You're Still a Lover," released in October of 2012. And in some of those songs -- including those written during the same period, such as "I Love the Way You Seal the Deal," heard here -- that comfort has been found: "The way you kissed me was clear / Oh, I love the way you seal the deal."
"There's still some tumultuous waters," explains McConnell, "but I think it's very comfortable. A lot of the record deals with the idea of commitment." But in spite of all that's settled into place, there are still some things worth pursuing. The band won't stop searching any time soon for more songs and more souls to receive them.
Video: Jarred Gastreich for Show Me Shows
Sound: Ryan Albritton for R&R Music Labs
Writer: Chris Bay