ITHACA, N.Y. — The Tide is Ithaca-based indie rock band Second Spring’s debut album. 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 Lehman Alternative Community School, a passionate guitarist and musician, and the one who had brought Second Spring together originally. In March, the Ithaca City School District approved the creation of the Aleksander Travis/LACS Music Department Fund, which will be used to buy equipment and supplies for the LACS Music Department, “in the spirit of Aleksander’s love of music.”
The band currently consists of members Isabella Gold, Erin Wagner, Isaiah Berger, Carys Banford and Aron Kaplan-Hall. They had originally been two separate friend groups united by a music class that either no one else had signed up for, or they had signed up but dropped the class, leaving the six students together alone.
“We started playing music together. It was a music class with our teacher Dara. And we would just do, like covers and stuff. Our main song was ‘Sweet Child Of Mine,’ that was our song. That was our anthem,” Gold said.
They hadn’t initially intended to be a band either, but after a classmate overheard them performing, Second Spring began performing at climate change events, compost rallies, and other town events.
Travis’ drive for music motivated the band to stick together.
“[Travis] was like, ‘My goal in life is to release recorded music.’ That was like something he always talked about, so after he passed away that was one thing that we really wanted to do,” Wagner said. “Because that was something he always wanted to do, and also because we all just think he was a great musician, and we think that other people should hear that music.”
While Travis did want to become a professional musician, he never envisioned a solo career. “He obviously wanted to be a rock star but his idea of that wasn’t ‘oh I want to be a rock star,’ it was to have the band, and have the band reach people. The band was the goal, the dream,” Berger said.
Each song on the album features some original recording of Travis’, such as audio of his guitar playing. “It’s really Aleks’ brainchild. And I hope it takes off and gains a little bit of popularity so that his dream can come true, and I think it already is. [The album] was definitely a lot of fun to produce and it was very satisfying to be able to put his words into recordings and put those recordings out into the world,” Kaplan-Hall said.
Listeners who don’t know the backstory of the album would still benefit from listening to it.
“Even if you don’t listen to the lyrics and hear each story they tell, everyone’s going to get something different from it, and that’s another thing that [Alek] 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 hasn’t made any commercial sales from their album, but if that were to change in the future, they would consider donating to charity, the band said.
But given that even sizable album sales only give a small fraction of profits to the band, charity performances would be a more plausible future prospect. “Charity is something that Alek had also talked about a lot. He actually had this idea, he really wanted to do some type of benefit concert,” Wagner said.
The band plans to continue playing. They’ve sent an application to the 2022 Ithaca Fest taking place in June, and hope to be accepted to perform. They had also recorded a live performance in Travis’ basement, and plan to release it on his birthday later in April.