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Social Studies Developer (2012)

 Social Studies — Developer (2012)

Social Studies — Developer
Location: San Francisco, California, USA
Album release: November 13th, 2012
Record Label: Antenna Farm Records
Duration:     40:56
01. Delicate Hands     5:22
02. Away For The Weekend     3:02
03. Terracur     4:17
04. Still Life     3:31
05. Think Of The Sea     4:12
06. Western Addition     3:59
07. You Still Laughing     5:20
08. Developer     5:21
09. Sans     3:16
10. Paint     2:40
Eli Crews  Mixing, Producer, Tracking
Jesse Hudson  Bass
Mike Jirkovsky  Composer, Drums, Percussion
Joe LaPorta  Mastering
Ben McClintock  Guitar
Natalia Rogovin  Composer, Keyboards, Vocals
Tom Smith  Artwork, Guitar, Layout
Social Studies  Composer, Primary Artist, Producer
David Wajsfelner  Photography
© Social Studies 2012
Natalia Rogovin
Michael Jirkovsky
Jesse Hudson
Tom Smith
Ben McClintock
Website: http://www.socialstudies-music.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SocialStudies101
Press contact: Publicity: nathan@riotactmedia.com, Label: paul@antennafarmrecords.com
Reservé agent: socialstudies101@gmail.com
Review by Ned Raggett  (Rating: ****)
The second album by Social Studies finds the Bay Area quintet really coming into its own with its sound; while the inspirations from a range of earlier art/indie rock efforts are clear, what's especially striking throughout is how the band sounds assured and confident in its own present voice. Starting with sparkling keyboards and a strong, clean guitar line, "Delicate Hands" is a fantastic statement of purpose, something that vocalist Natalia Rogovin's strong tone further emphasizes -- the sense of building on the strength of female-fronted and -led bands from the great wave of early-'80s acts in the U.K. and elsewhere is paramount, and the nicely varied and ominous but not overbearing rhythms add to it. Yet at the same time, the nervous keyboard twists and sudden drum breaks on the bluesy "Terracur" feel like something very 21st century, a fallout from the possibilities of hyperactive production and emphasis on space, while "Think of the Sea" mixes a big, slow groove in the chorus with a vocal tone from Rogovin that rivals that of Insides' Kirsty Yates at her best. The rumbling "Away for the Weekend," with the guitar as rhythm addition stabbing through strong vocals, builds up and up to a dramatic end, while similarly, "You Still Laughing" transforms with a striking swing and stomp in the chorus that all comes together beautifully in the final verse. Developer feels like the work of a group constantly pulling new rabbits out of hats just as things seem to have peaked, which can only be promising for their future work. 
By Amanda Koellner on November 9th, 2012
Rating: ***
“Before, we were rebellious. We fucked with things just because we wanted to push limits and boundaries,” said Social Studies frontlady Natalia Rogovin of 2010’s collection of synth-pop songs, Wind Up Wooden Heart. “Developer is a more adult record. We tried to explore sounds and draw out parts to write more moving and focused songs.” And the sophomore effort from this San Francisco-based five-piece is just what its title suggests: a development from the band’s debut that boasts a more mature sound, thanks in part to producer Eli Crews (tUnE-yArDs) who separated everything a bit: Rogovin’s vocals spring forward, the synths dull down, and the guitar demands its moments.
All the moving parts entwine best on “Away For The Weekend”, a poppy track whose melodrama attaches to Rogovin’s Florence Welch-like vocals to unveil a track that sounds like it could be an early, long-lost Flo bootleg. Album closer “Paint”, which, with its unique trajectory, is an obvious standout and smart way to round out the record. But these are stellar moments among an album that has a tendency to feel too static. While single “Terracur” snaps its fingers with some Adele sass, “Still Life” follows, beginning a lull in the album’s center where the songs run together. Allowing a male vocal cameo, a la Wind Up Wooden Heart’s ”The Good Book”, could have sanctioned a bit more diversity.
Developer most likely isn’t the sophomore album that propels the group to the forefront of its genre, but that’s not to say the band’s process of evolution halts here.
Essential Tracks: “Away For The Weekend”, “Paint”
Fortaken: http://consequenceofsound.net
Social Studies makes a seriously strong showing with their second album, Developer, set to drop November 13th. The atmosphere of Developer is dark in a seductive way, with musical elements of alt-J and Beach House (especially on “Sans”). Lead singer Natalia Rogovin’s low, slightly jazzy range is raw, haunting, and downright impressive, the timbre of her voice blending perfectly with the band’s instruments. Best tracks include ”Think of the Sea,” which is quietly epic with beautiful echoes, and “Away for the Weekend,” with gritty percussion and rhythmic angst.
Fortaken: http://sunsetintherearview.com
By Ryan Bort (http://www.pastemagazine.com)
San Francisco five-piece Social Studies will be releasing their sophomore full-length album, Developer, on Nov. 19. Led by vocalist Natalia Rogovin, the band made their mark with their 2010 debut LP, Wind Up Wooden Heart," a heartfelt collection of jagged pop gems. With Developer, however, the band is taking a much more measured, stripped-down approach and focusing on evoking a particular mood.
“Before, we were rebellious. We fucked with things just because we wanted to push limits and boundaries,” says Rogovin. “Developer is a more adult record. We tried to explore sounds and draw out parts to write more moving and focused songs.”

Social Studies Developer (2012)