with Keep

Songbyrd Presents
Upstairs, All Ages


Songbyrd Vinyl Lounge 

Friday April 10, 2020


So Totally:

Hailing from Philadelphia, so totally feels like a seemingly-prophesized act in a long line of genre-bending bands from the area. Culling members and textures from the many art scenes the city provides, the individuals forming so totally cast an incredibly wide net in terms of interests, abilities and sonic contributions.

Permeating through each song’s hypnotic, airy foundation is an undeniable pop sensibility that allows the band to effortlessly swim from ear-worm hooks to punishingly heavy bridges. Though often obscured, the inimitably saccharine and reverb-drenched melodies of vocalist/guitarist Roya Weidman are punctuated by a crushing wall of sound, lulling the listener into the most blissful of nightmares. Shifting leads, provided by guitarist Matt Arbiz, guide the listener down each song’s dimly-lit hallway of swift, often drastic sonic transitions. Despite the often soothing nature of their sound, so totally cannot be loosely engaged with; each song moves at a break-neck pace. This is accentuated by drummer Joe McLaughlin’s ability to pull the listener into head-bobbing grooves before abruptly cutting and shifting between textures on a single tom hit. Bassist Ryan Wildsmith bolsters this foundation, driving the band’s rhythm dynamics with punctual, unassuming bass lines before diving into bone-rattling, fuzzed-out chords. On a passive listen, the music’s abrupt and staggering changes will jolt the back to attention. so totally became a local fixture after the release of their 2016 extended-play “a cheap close-up of heaven, ” and will release their debut full-length “in the shape of…” May 3rd. The album is a statement piece for the band and one that perfectly encapsulates the crippling fear and paranoia caused by the serenity that the band washes over the listener.



KEEP: Indie Band from RVA