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Monday, March 1, 2021

Signs of Progress: Floridian pop-punks give a lesson in honesty

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signs of progress Cover
  • Location: Gainesville, Florida, USA (Vocalist from New York City, USA)
  • The line-up: Sage Viscovi (vocals), Justin Burger (guitar), Trent Fraley (bass/backing vocals), Jarred McKinney (drums)
  • The sound: Early 2000’s pop-punk
  • The comparison: Meet Me @ The Alter, Yours Truly, Stand Atlantic
  • Punktuation Song Pick: Bones exposed

Signs of Progress made 2020 a year to remember for the right reasons. The band released their debut EP, Safe Haven, on 20th November 2020 and had well over fifty thousand of streams on Spotify only a month later.

Safe Haven is making big waves in the pop-punk ocean and it is easy to see why. If there was one word< to sum up this album, it would be ‘honesty’. In a time of severe social change, an ambiguous future for young people, and the easiest target for political outrage sitting in The White House (still?!), vocalist and lyricist Sage Viscovi has maintained her own truth and not attempted to comment on anyone else’s. This has heavily contributed to the runaway success of Safe Haven.

Signs of Progress band

In each song, we can connect with a specific and personal moment in Sage’s life that somehow resonates so strongly with our own. An excellent example is their hit single ‘Admit it’, which is closest to the early 2000’s pop-punk style. Sage gives us some insight into her lyrics for ‘Admit it’:

“In life, most people will, unfortunately, have an experience with someone they were once on great terms with who ended up stabbing them in the back.

“I used to have someone I considered one of my best friends, who I later realised was a manipulator and would always try to victimise themself whenever they were called out on it… I want people to know that it’s okay to cut these people off if you feel like there’s nowhere else for that relationship to grow in a way that comforts you.”

Signs of Progress – Admit It

The EP tackles other experiences in Sage’s life including mental illness, toxic friends, lost love, and hunting trauma. But a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. Wrapped around these profound messages are catchy melodies and the quintessential upbeat tone of the early 2000’s pop-punk genre. This EP should come with a warning sticker, because these brilliant songs will be stuck in your head all, damn, day!”

“This EP should come with a warning sticker, because these brilliant songs will be stuck in your head all, damn, day!” Punktuation Mag

These ‘shit-to-a-blanket’ sticky tunes are a testament to the musicianship of Justin Burger (guitar), Trent Fraley (bass/backing vocals), and Jarred McKinney (drums). The three come from the expansive and diverse alternative music community in Florida, USA, and have honed their skills across other genres such as Metal and Hardcore. This heavier, darker influence is heard in their second single from Safe Haven, ‘Bones Exposed’. Sage concurs:

“The song (Bones Exposed) is, in short, all about mental illness. … It’s not only a much darker sound lyrically, but also tonally, as you’ll hear in the instrumentation.”

Signs of Progress – Bones Exposed

The EP was produced and mastered by renowned producer Lee Dyess of Earthsound Recording, who has notably worked with bands such as Mayday Parade, From First to Last, Against Me!, I Set My Friends on Fire, Stages and Stereos, and Select Start. The EP is available on your favourite streaming services, Bandcamp, and their website. Details below!


More Signs of Progress


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