ITHACA, NY— The tide is the debut album by Ithaca-based indie rock band Second Spring. Released on March 20, 2022, the album is dedicated to a former band member who suffered an untimely tragedy that left an indelible mark on the band’s music.
Aleksander Travis died on August 19, 2020 following a hiking accident. He had been a student at the Lehman Alternative Community School, an avid guitarist and musician, and the one who brought Second Spring together in the first place. In March, the Ithaca City School District approved the creation of the Aleksander Travis/LACS Music Department Fund, which will be used to purchase equipment and supplies for the LACS Music Department, “in the spirit of of Aleksander’s love for music”.
The group currently consists of members Isabella Gold, Erin Wagner, Isaiah Berger, Carys Banford and Aron Kaplan-Hall. They were originally two separate groups of friends united by a music class that either no one else had enrolled in, or they had enrolled but dropped out of the class, leaving the six students alone together.
“We started playing music together. It was a music lesson with our teacher Dora. And we would just, like blankets and stuff. Our main song was “Sweet Child Of Mine”, it was our song. It was our anthem,” Gold said.
They didn’t initially plan to be a band either, but after a classmate heard them play, Second Spring began performing at climate change events, rallies compost and other city events.
Travis’ passion for music motivated the band to stay together.
“[Travis] was like, ‘My purpose in life is to release recorded music.’ It was like something he was always talking about, so after he died it was something we really wanted to do,” Wagner said. “Because it was something he always wanted to do, and also because we all think he was a great musician, and we think other people should hear that music.”
While Travis wanted to become a professional musician, he never considered a solo career. “He obviously wanted to be a rock star, but his idea wasn’t ‘oh I want to be a rock star,’ it was to have the band and for the band to reach people. The band was the goal, the dream said Berger.
Each song on the album features an original recording by Travis, such as audio of his guitar playing. “It’s really an original idea of Aleks. And hopefully he will take off and gain some popularity so that his dream can come true, and I think it already has. [The album] was definitely a lot of fun to produce and it was very satisfying to be able to put your words into recordings and get those recordings out into the world,” Kaplan-Hall said.
Listeners unfamiliar with the album’s backstory would still benefit from listening to it.
“Even if you don’t listen to the lyrics and hear every story they tell, everyone will get something different out of it, and that’s another thing that [Aleks] had definitely wanted,” Banford said.
The tide can be streamed on multiple platforms including YouTube, Spotify, and Apple Music. It’s also available for sale on Amazon for $7.92. Second Spring did not achieve any commercial sales of their album, but if that should change in the future, they would consider donating to charity, the band said.
But given that even major album sales only bring in a small fraction of the band’s profits, charity performances would be a more plausible future prospect. “Charity is something that Aleks had also talked about a lot. He actually had this idea, he really wanted to do some kind of benefit concert,” Wagner said.
The band plans to continue playing. They have submitted an application for Ithaca Fest 2022 which will take place in June and hope to be accepted to perform. They had also recorded a live performance in Travis’ basement and planned to release it on his birthday later in April.