There is always that moment when I feel inclined to reach for an album by Nick Drake, Low, Neil Young or the Kings of Convenience; when nothing else will suffice, but a hit of introspective acoustic style songs. Sound Sanctuary have found their way into that special place inside my record collection, mentally catalogued as “songs for that time of the night”.
Sound Sanctuary mix up art rock with a dash of folk to create a blissed-out sound filled with chiming guitars, head nodding basslines and 60′s style West Coast pop vocal harmonies. For this album, Bombay Monkey are on production duties and have provided an atmospheric, trip hop style backdrop for this set of memorable songs.
“Dust” pulls off a similar trick to The Kings Convenience album “Quiet is the new loud”; where the initial sound of the album is soothing, but a closer listen to the lyrics makes you realize that something darker is going on. To my ears “Quiet is the new loud” is an album about unrequited love, whereas “Dust” explores a slightly different territory about the tensions within existing relationships.
The album opens very strongly with 3 potential singles: “Dust”, “Enemy” and “Broken Signs”. The lyrics of these tracks set up the themes of the album with images of the aftermath of conflict, confusion and a plea for reconciliation. “Kamikaze Dreamer” and the new wave bass driven “Mexico” are other highlights, but this is an album I can listen to from start to finish and not feel the need to hit fast forward.
In 2008 Nick Luscombe demonstrated impeccable taste and set up a “Lo-tek” label showcase at his Flo-Motion evening. Needless to say Sound Sanctuary performed an intimate and involving live set with some good humoured banter.
Sound Sanctuary have delivered an album of heartfelt acoustic music with a contemporary twist.