It has been two whole years since Gengahr released their last album Where the Wildness Grows. The build-up to the new album Sanctuary has been a long one but fans of their first album, A Dream Outside, are sure to love this new number.
Listening to the album, you can hear the influence of producer Jack Steadman of Bombay Bicycle Club. It is in the melodies where this is most evident, as while, yes, Gengahr are known for their dreamlike music, listening to Sanctuary one can definitely hear some textures and melodies that are influenced by Bombay’s artistic style.
Though this does not mean Gengahr have strayed from their roots, the album overall has that same Gengahr-branded atmosphere to it. This brand however has simply just been upgraded and taken to another level. From the first track, ‘Everything & More’ it is evident that Gengahr have stayed true to themselves. Furthermore, the track is as catchy as ever and has the ability to get the listener to start singing and humming along within a few verses.
The second track on the album, ‘Atlas Please’ injects new sounds into the mix with a hint of ’80 style beats and fun that can be heard throughout the track. This continues in ‘Heavenly Maybe’, which whilst sounding slick and sophisticated, is still fun to listen to with its funky influences.
A personal favourite on the album is ‘Fantasy’. If any track strayed furthest from their known sound it would be this one. It is also, in my opinion, the most interesting track off the album. This is due to the fact that it simply doesn’t seem to fit the formulaic sound you would expect from the band at all. This track gives the mind and opportunity to wander. The track is futuristic, and its almost as if you’re in a sci-fi movie or a video game where you’re racing through the stars in the vast openness of space. It’s a perfect and yet unexpected way to break up the album.
Another highlight is the closing track ‘Moonlight’. The track is probably one of the more relaxed tracks on the album. There is something romantic about this song, it is slowed down and combination the gentle guitar and maracas round this atmosphere. It is the perfect song to listen to on long walks or simply if you’re at home winding down after a long day.
Overall, Gengahr’s latest offering is very welcomed. They have stayed true to their artistic style whilst embracing new elements to their well-loved sound. The two years wait for this release has been well worth it, and you can tell that the band took their time to perfect everything about this package. Even the album name is perfectly suited, the album is in fact truly a Sanctuary, it offers a means to momentary escape from the stresses of the real world and is the perfect medium to unwind to.