Got A Story To Tell

The new album - out Oct 4, 2024

"Lucid Girl" single, out now

Got A Story To Tell

The new album - out Oct 4, 2024

"Lucid Girl" single, out now


The highly anticipated follow-up to their breakout 2022 self-titled debut, Thee Sacred Soul’s Got A Story To Tell (Daptone Records) features 12 all original new songs, a soaring statement of exquisite craftsmanship from this young band from San Diego whose own story grows bigger by the day. Millions of monthly listeners on Spotify. Celebrity fans like SZA, Alicia Keys, and Kylie Jenner. An NPR Tiny Desk performance that burned the house down. And all in the first two years of the band’s existence. Then came life on the road.
Since 2022, Thee Sacred Souls have toured North America and Europe, playing their sweet soul music at dozens and dozens of sold-out headlining shows, and in the process they went from young musicians to a tight-knit, stress-tested band who knew each other like family. All the great bands were made better by life on the road, and Thee Sacred Souls is ready to join that pantheon. Got A Story To Tell is in every way a tighter and emotionally richer record because of their journey.  

The challenges of touring resulted in a darker, more mature record, Alejandro Garcia (drums, guitar) says. Salvador Samano (bass, drums) agrees: “As we got busier, we were all dealing with things back home, trying to balance life and music and touring.” Heartbreak, family issues, finding ways to be creative when you’re leaving it all on the stage every night. Every member had their own experience, and no new development went undetected by their bandmates. “You can’t hide how you’re feeling,” Garcia says, of the intimacy of touring. “We know what’s going with each other.”

But it’s not as if the songs on Got A Story To Tell, which they began writing at the end of 2022, are accounts of a band on the run; there’s no “Turn the Page” here. Josh Lane (vocals) says all those emotions and personal stories from the three founders were sprinkled into the songwriting to create a potent blend of truth and imagination. In an age where pop stars have their albums treated like chapters in an ongoing memoir, Thee Sacred Souls hearken back to the more universal, relatable school of songwriting that made Hitsville U.S.A. and the Brill Building so successful and timeless.

Lead single and opening song “Lucid Girl” is Thee Sacred Souls’ entry into the canon of pop and R&B songwriting that champions independent women. (Stevie Wonder’s “Superwoman” is but one example.) It started as an instrumental that Garcia wrote one Christmas morning, during a moment of quiet heartache and solitude. Driving away from the studio to see family in the afternoon after cutting the track, the phrase popped into his head: “lucid girl.” It was perfect fodder for Lane to start his work.

“A good instrumental tells a story on its own,” says Lane, and what Garcia laid down that Christmas hit him instantly. It was heavy, with some of the toughest drums and bass of anything the band had recorded, and Garcia’s title conjured the image of a woman who wouldn’t be held down. Like someone lucid dreaming, this woman did what she wanted, how she wanted. “She chose herself and then she grew,” he sings in his pure tenor before the drums hit a stutter-step and the chorus kicks in. The album is full of characters and stories, and “Lucid Girl” sets the stage for what comes after.

Thee Sacred Souls recorded Got A Story To Tell at Penrose Recorders, in Riverside, CA, the studio built by producer and Daptone Records co-founder Gabriel Roth (aka Bosco Mann). It’s a simple space some 50 miles east of Los Angeles that offers an unadorned analogue experience. They filled it with immortal grooves, classic vocal harmonies, and sincere, heartfelt lyrics about love and loss—the persistent feelings.

A ballad of guilty feelings, “My Heart Is Drowning” draws on two pivotal wells of inspiration for the band: Jamaican rocksteady and ‘60s girl-group pop. The spectral slow tempo of rocksteady, with its thick bass lines and simple guitar riffs, is the instrumental basis upon which Lane sings about making his lover cry, eventually losing her. The chorus is beautifully accented with soft and affecting backing vocals that recall the great Motown siren Mary Wells. In its final moments, it takes an unexpected turn toward the sunny, even though the protagonist is still languishing in regret. The tension between the music and lyrics create one of the most beguiling moments on the record.

Listening to the beloved Brazilian artist Arthur Verocai unlocked melodic ideas for Lane while writing “On My Mind,” a breezy stand-out on Got A Story To Tell. The rhythmic shifts on the song evoke the dynamics described in Lane’s lyrics, as he sings about “the good and the bad together…the good and the bad that make this man.” The acknowledgement of life’s total complexity brings one of the most stirring performances out of Lane.

Any conversation with the band will inevitably turn into a music celebration; the sharing of classic tunes, as they point out specific records that proved important during recording. Mann, their producer, is something of an encyclopedia, and what knowledge he bequeathed to them they’re all too happy to share.  The little-known Philadelphia guy group the Fabulous Performers. The sweeping vocals of the Delfonics. The unreal falsetto of Alton Ellis. The beguiling arrangements from Jesse Boone and the Astros. In part, Thee Sacred Souls are able to make timeless music because they have a deep appreciation for history.Got A Story To Tell proves that Thee Sacred Souls are here to stay; a vital force in contemporary music. Though it’s not a concept album, it creates a satisfying emotional arc for the listener, taking them through life’s ups and downs—but finding a happy ending when it counts. The final track “I’m So Glad I Found You, Baby” is the feeling of coming home from a long journey to find your love waiting for you.

If the last two years tested the mettle of Thee Sacred Souls, Got A Story To Tell is all that hard work paying off.

Josh Lane
Lead Vocals
Alex Garcia
Sal Samano
Riley Dunn
Piano / Keys
Shay Stulz
Astyn Turrentine
Background Vocals
Viane Escobar
Background Vocals