The world of UK musical outfit Saint Mars is built upon a foundation of tangled pop influences, electronic perspectives, and vicarious indie rock impulses. The band coaxes a magisterial emotional reckoning from sounds that we’ve all heard before, but which have never really sounded like this. Founded by Cedric Aegerter (aka Marc Darcange or M.D.) and Massive Attack guitarist Angelo Bruschini, the group has become known for their strict non-adherence to genre convention, opting instead to pursue a non-linear approach to production that favors the exploration of unexpected rhythmic adaptations as they’re let loose across expansive melodic landscapes.
Teaming up with 15-year-old singer Tryzdin (whose rendition of Adele’s “Hello” has received 3.7 million views on YouTube), the band sought a different way to corral their disparate inspirations, focusing their complex histories through Tryzdin’s impressive vocal theatrics. Incorporating the echoes of bands like Empire of the Sun, M83, and Massive Attack, they carefully thread the line between rhythmic aesthetics, touching upon a handful without ever laying allegiance to a particular set of melodic traditions.
With the help of special guests such as Brent Paschke (N.E.R.D., Pharrell Williams) and Robert Brian (Siouxsie, Goldfrapp, Simple Minds) on past songs, Saints Mars has developed a multi-faceted outlook on the acclimation of musical lineages. And on their latest single, “Pacific State”, releasing May 8 via Antifragile Music, their quixotic method of cross-genre pollination is as effortless and fascinating as ever. Adopting a pensive mood through warped synths and thick percussion, they enlist — along with band regular Tryzdin — the assistance of Bristol rapper Jethro “Alonestar” Sheeran, who also happens to be Ed Sheeran’s cousin.
The track reminds us to look for hope, no matter how hidden, in even the most devastating situations as voices loop around one another and sounds that wouldn’t feel out of place in the 80s pour from your speakers. Filled with a cautious joy, “Pacific State” isn’t necessarily looking to alleviate the terrible things going on around us – it simply wants to let us know that there are always things we can do to survive and promises better days if we just have a little faith.
“With ‘Pacific State’, we wanted to fuse pop and trip-hop with obsessive tribal beats and draw a line between Massive Attack, Empire of the Sun and Tears for Fears,” the band explains. “The song takes you back to the glorious magic of the 80’s… ‘Pacific State’ delivers a message of hope, carried by the ongoing faith in a better world after a tragic fall, and the necessary perseverance in adversity.”