One Step Closer
One Step Closer signal a sea change with Songs for the Willow. With last year’s This Place You Know, the band had already mastered a unique stripe of mournful melodic hardcore informed by eclectic emo influences. But on Songs for the Willow, they’ve tapped into a dynamic, emotionally powerful, and sonically intricate post-hardcore space.
Frontman Ryan Savitski expands his vocal repertoire further here, pushing himself to an even wider range of styles and methods. He makes for a spirited lead and consistent presence while guitar work from Ross Thompson and newcomer Colman O’Brien weave sundry, compelling layers, never content to linger on one riff for too long.
“All three songs revolve around the problems that touring so much this last year have caused,” Savitski says of the thematic melancholy running through the EP. “Losing relationships, losing band members, losing a sense of what this band even means to everyone.” Savitski is still grateful for the growth his band experienced—they made memorable appearances on some of hardcore’s biggest stages and supported scene staples on tour. But Savitski also recognizes the sacrifices they made along the way, and that struggle imbues itself in the EP’s desperate tone.
All along, there’s a relentless forcefulness to each performance. After already cementing themselves as the best young band reviving genuine melodic hardcore, One Step Closer have now proven themselves as virtuosos of the impassioned post-hardcore mini-epic.