Next Wednesday’s show at the University of Oklahoma marks the third there for Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin. Based in Springfield, Mo., the indie-pop band with the exhaustively long name hopes the third time will be the charm.
“The first time we played was during finals week. The next time, we played the day before Thanksgiving,” multi-instrumentalist Philip Dickey said. “We’re just excited to get there and have people to play for.”
Bad luck and lulls have not been all that uncommon for SSLYBY, which became a blogger fave with 2005’s charming, lo-fi debut, Broom. But just as things seem hopeless, something props them back up. The latest in the group’s 13-year career was last month’s largely sold-out tour through Japan.
“It was our best tour ever. It’s weird,” Dickey said. “Any time it feels like people forgot about our band, something good happens. It gives us some energy to keep going.”
In 2010, SSLYBY released its third studio album, Let It Sway (recorded by Death Cab for Cutie guitarist Chris Walla), and toured with Tokyo Police Club. The quartet followed that with last year’s acclaimed B-sides and rarities compilation, Tape Club. Originally meant for fans only, the disc made a far bigger splash than the members expected.
“I almost feel like the recording quality was so bad that it made people feel sorry for us,” Dickey said. “The album itself is the story of us. The first song was recorded in my mom’s house. The last was in a studio with Chris Walla.”
SSLYBY currently is laying the groundwork for a follow-up to Sway. Dickey noted the album will mark a return to Broom’s more lo-fi production techniques. Thematically, it promises to be a fun, loose effort as well.
“I worked at a songwriting camp with little kids. They were saying some of the weirdest and most poetic things I’ve ever heard,” Dickey said. “They were talking about swimming and being bad mermaids … lots of songs about dinosaurs. I’m trying not to plagiarize these kids’ lyrics, but it gave me a ton of ideas. Lyrically, I was stuck. Now I’m writing songs about dinosaurs.”
As always, the name of the game going into what will be the modest and humble band’s fourth album is low expectations.
“We’ll come up with something that is pretty diverse, hopefully different and better than what we’ve done before … but that’s what every band says,” Dickey said. “I guess our main goal is to make it not suck.”