The Los Angeles band Second Still are beginning a shift away from the straightforward post-punk sound that defined its first several releases. Instead, on the group's upcoming LP, Violet Phase, the band has embraced a more cinematic sound, complete with synthesizers and hooks that are menacing as they are compelling. On new single 'Double Negative,' Second Still showcases many of its new tricks, resulting in a track that makes a convincing case for Second Still as the premier coldwave band of 2019.

Astute readers may have noticed that I referred to Second Still as "coldwave" in this article and "darkwave" in a previous piece. That's because the band's embrace of electronic, chilly synths in particular, seem to indicate that the band is taking a new direction. The leap from darkwave to coldwave is not a huge one, but playing with different sounds and ideas while maintaining a consistent musical voice is not an easy feat. Second Still, however, does it incredibly well.

Genre is a nebulous and dubious thing, after all, so Second Still does a remarkable job of taking familiar elements and crafting its own unique sound. There are some familiar points of reference, but I can think of very few other groups who are doing anything like what Second Still is doing right now.

And on 'Double Negative,' the band flexes its muscles, letting simmering synths and a propulsive bass take the listener down the rabbit hole, into a drug-fueled abyss.

According to the band, the track is about the "comedown from ecstasy. The serotonin is spiraling, and you realize you’re stuck in the same boring life you began your night with. You can’t fully enjoy yourself, let your guard down or remember the people you just spend the last four hours with. This is a theme song for negative people."

Second Still's Violet Phase is due out on May 17, with LPs and CDs through Fabrika Records and a cassette run via sentimental Records. Listen to 'Double Negative' above and view the band's upcoming tour dates down below.


24 May - 1000FRYD; Aalborg, DK
25 May - Plan B; Malmo, SE
27 May - Shokoladen; Berlin, DE
28 May - Munzgasse 13; Tübingen, DE
29 May - Tsunami; Koln, DE
31 May - GC Den Dries; Retie, BE
01 June - The Dome; London, UK
02 June - The Peer Hat; Manchester, UK
05 June - TBD; Toulouse, FR
06 June - Mister Mojo; Tarragona, ES
07 June - Wurlitzer Ballroom; Madrid, ES
08 June - Sala Upload; Barcelona, ES
09 June - Kafe Antzokia; Bilbao, ES
10 June - Le Farmer; Lyon, FR
12 June - Kaserma Karlina; Prague, CZ
13 June - Hafen 2; Offenbach AM Main, DE
14 June - Baroeg; Rotterdam, NL
15 June - The Veg; Siegen, DE
11 July - Echoplex (w/Cold Showers); Los Angeles, CA