Naming their sophomore album Developer is a bold move for the still-young band Social Studies. But it is as apt a descriptor as you're likely to find for how the sound of this San Francisco-based five-piece has flourished, matured, and, yes, developed over the past two years. The band - led by Natalia Rogovin (vocals, keys) and Michael Jirkovsky (drums), who were joined in 2009 by bassist Jesse Hudson and guitarist Tom Smith and this year by second guitarist Ben McClintock - has already won a loyal fan base thanks to their arch take on modernist pop as heard on 2010 release Wind Up Wooden Heart. Social Studies has become a force to be reckoned with in concert as well, transfixing audiences at the CMJ Music Festival, SXSW, Treefort Music Festival, and Noise Pop.
Now, in Developer, Social Studies has succeeded in evoking a set of feelings and emotions that will linger with listeners long after the last notes have faded away. Warm, cold, or down-right chilling, there is a connection between the personal and universal that the band taps into through a set of fearless, powerful and gripping songs.