One Step Closer


In the year since One Step Closer released their debut full-length This Place You Know last year, they’ve grown into one of the most exciting new bands in modern hardcore. The album and the relentless touring schedule drew attention from the likes of Stereogum, Revolver Magazine, The FADER, BrookylnVegan, NPR, SPIN, Bandcamp Daily, FLOOD Magazine and more. OSC are showing no signs of slowing down, with Wilkes-Barre recently sharing their latest track “Dark Blue” and hitting the road relentlessly early next year as well.


One Step Closer signal a sea change with Dark Blue. On 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 Dark Blue, they’ve tapped into a dynamic, emotionally powerful, and sonically intricate post-hardcore space inhabited by the charged aura and artistic nuance of landmark early 2010s records like Title Fight’s Floral Green and Touché Amoré’s Is Survived By. But ultimately, One Step Closer moves this sound forward into new territory.


While frontman Ryan Savitski explored clean singing on This Place You Know, he expands his vocal repertoire further here, pushing himself to an even wider range of styles and methods, from soaring highs to breathy lows and rousing harmonies. He makes for a spirited lead and consistent presence while guitar work from himself, Ross Thompson and newcomer Colman O’Brien weave sundry, compelling layers, never content to linger on one riff for too long.


Dark Blue explores the toll that the last year and a half has taken on the band. ”Losing relationships, losing band members, losing a sense of what this band even means to everyone,” says Ryan Savitski when explaining what’s on his mind on the song. He’s still grateful for the growth his band experienced—they made memorable appearances on some of hardcore’s biggest stages (Sound and Fury, This Is Hardcore, and Outbreak festivals), supported scene staples on tour (Comeback Kid, Drug Church, Terror), and had This Place You Know land on respected publications’ Best of 2022 lists (Stereogum, BrooklynVegan). But Savitski also recognizes the sacrifices they made along the way, and that struggle imbues itself in the song’s desperate tone. “I feel like this last year was the first time we’ve truly felt like a real band, but there were so many issues underlying that it made it hard to enjoy a lot of things.”


The band stepped outside their comfort zone to create this latest song, teaming with Jon Markson and Eric Chesek to record and explore new sonic terrain. “[Markson] is such an awesome guy and [they] really pushed to get the best out of us the entire time,” Savitski says. “I think their creative minds helped us make something special. We tried a lot of new things… and really pushed a vocal style I’ve been wanting to do for a long time.”


The new energy gives this mere three-minute song a dramatic, cinematic splendor. “Dark Blue” seems to yearn a loss through the picturesque changing of seasons. “Earlier this year driving through the Pacific Northwest,” Savitski recalls, “I was struggling with how much we were about to be touring this year. As much as I was excited, I was just as much scared of how the dynamic of my life at home would change. I almost felt like people would forget about me for some reason, or relationships would change while being away. I found comfort looking out the window of the van and seeing things I never thought I’d ever see, while simultaneously turning my head to see some of my best friends who I get to experience this life with. It made me feel conflicted—potentially lose the people you love at home, to do the thing you love just as much. This song represents those conflicting moments in time.”


All along, there’s an insistent, 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.

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