Sometimes a fulfilling musical partnership can feel like it was just meant to be. In the founding of Pittsburgh darkwave duo Some Faith, for example, singer Indigo Baloch sees the none-too-gentle hand of fate–or maybe it was all in spite of the stars. In August of 2019, before the searing beats of their debut EP, A Lesson in Patience, came to be, Baloch was reading up on the Saturn retrograde.
“Saturn is a cold planet, but a wise one,” she said in a press release for the single “The Pain Has a Purpose.” “When Saturn is in retrograde, we find ourselves pushing through an onslaught of pain, but it all has a purpose to direct us where we’re meant to be. There’s no sugarcoating what you’ll go through, but it’s all to make you stronger.”
She had lost a friendship, lost a job, and lost her cat of 17 years. But right around that time, when she was low on hope and feeling like the cosmos were stacked against her, Some Faith showed up. Producer Brian Sikes Howe, who she knew through mutual friends and the local music scene, reached out to her about working together.
“The more we were around each other, the more we realized we had in common,” says Howe. “A mutual love for ‘80s movies, cartoons, and music really brought us together. Eventually, we talked about starting some sort of a ‘goth project,’ so we just did it.”
Baloch says it wound up being just the creative outlet she needed.
“It’s flourished into one of the most positive aspects of my life now. I look forward to every practice—just goofing off with my best friend and making art together.”
A Lesson in Patience followed naturally from there. Howe would send Baloch instrumentals, and she would listen to them on a loop until the words came to her.
“In no time, we had an album’s worth of songs. We separated them into two halves—two EPs—based on what songs we felt best together in a grouping,” she says. “Each song was a big cathartic release for me, so getting it all put together and finished felt so wonderful.”
Howe attributes the fluidity of that process to their individual experiences writing and recording in the past, but he also points to the metaphysical.
“It’s not as if we started completely from nothing. I think in some sort of spiritual way, it’s possible these songs were already writing themselves in our heads before we even talked about it.”
There’s a cheeky relationship between Some Faith and literal faith–take their twinkling cover of “Losing My Religion” by R.E.M., which closes out the EP. There’s a supernatural explanation for that too, though as Howe jokes, it’s more on the order of Disney magic. The idea came about a month after the founding of the duo while he was drinking at an Irish pub in Disney World.
“Some Faith was super fresh for me and ideas for the project were on my mind constantly,” he says. “The pub had a cover band–who was honestly pretty damn good–and that night they did a killer version of “Losing My Religion.” I always really enjoyed that song and the emotional weight that it has. I immediately thought to myself that it would be really fun to try and cover sometime, so I asked Indigo, and she said yes. I started working on it that night in the hotel room. Yes, I took my laptop to Disney and worked on music while I was there.”
When Some Faith started gearing up to release music in May of 2020, another Saturn retrograde had begun. For Baloch, it was full circle, but with a bit of a positive twist.
“Here we are again, in a Saturn retrograde, but I’ve learned to navigate it now. I’m stronger now and more prepared,” she says. “And just as we started this last time, now a year later, we’re releasing everything.”
Putting out their debut EP in the middle of a pandemic wasn’t easy, but losing the opportunity to perform live left them with more time to sit with the songs. Howe says he’s grateful for the extra creative space.
“I wish that we could be out playing shows and being an active part of the scene, but we’ve got plenty to keep us for the time being. Even without a pandemic, I’m sure the main focus for us at this stage would be promoting the band online. We’re not a band who already has an established fan base to tour for or anything just yet. Hopefully the connections we make now will help us find a path once it is safe to hit the road.”
A Lesson in Patience is available to stream and download now, and the duo also recorded a music video for “Liminal,” the EP’s opening track.