I happened upon this group at the Troubador in London one evening. No preconceptions, i had heard the name and that was it. A few months later and the album I bought on the night is an absolute favourite. In fact, one of the best I have ever heard. Because if you critique something by the simple method of asking what is being attempted and whether it succeeds, you just couldn’t fault this set. I keep playing it, I never tire of it.
The Sound Sanctuary vibe is mellow and built on light guitar patterns, easy percussive grooves and subtle basslines, plus very clever and mood-enhancing sampling – sometimes of beach sounds or light winds or conversations. PLUS the most beautiful and harmonic singing you could ever imagine. It’s warm, honeyed and addictive – obviously influenced by Crosby & co/Buffalo Springfield but not Americana’d by any means. Neither is it Anglo-folk corny and overwrought ! What a find…
Despite the group’s soft-sound approach the music itself is meaty and rhythmic and perversely what comes across is how strong the material and the playing is. A million miles from the cod-drama of the Meatloaf’s and Mika’s of this world, this music connects by its rooting in organic and heartfelt elements but no yelling or phony trappings. Quite wonderful and i have long since surrendered to the insistent ‘Enemy’, the introspective pumping groove of ‘Broken Signs’ and the twinkling handclapped spaced-out, lament ‘Got The Feeling’. Woven melodies and just-right instrumentation build a set of atmospheres that create addiction.
Sound Sanctuary are in a part of the music world that they have created them selves and the only thing that is even remotely similar would be Public Symphony who also craft a sound avoiding the cliches most other acts pile on with no shame. Truly deserving of a fair hearing if any act ever was !