London/Glasgow duo Sacred Paws unveil their first long player, showing off some new tricks and an unprecedented ability to create the kind of summery ear worms that stay with you long after listening.
Explosive opener ‘Nothing’ acts as a crystal clear statement of intent, overlapping, upbeat vocal hooks and off kilter drums grip set the listener up only to knock them down with defiant guitar and brass layers. Minimal production places every instrument and vocal hook bare and shameless, this duo are all about strategic use of harmony and rhythm and no fluff. This clarity seeps into every corner of the album. Clarity in production, vision and intent. This is an album that, like Loveless or Unknown Pleasures, finds it’s specific home in the audio spectrum and explores it tirelessly.
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Tracks like ‘Voice’ and ‘Stars’ flirt with additional synth layers and use of effects but only to it’s strength. These moments never leave the niche these ten tracks carve out beautifully for the band, they merely hint at future ventures and further cement Rachel Aggs’ status as a genius of emotive harmony and honest lyricism. Each track, none more so than ‘Getting Old’ is soaked in the excitement and inventive spirit that defines every garage and bedroom jam session, only grown up, refined and technically astounding. Producer, Tony Doogan of Mogwai and Teenage Fanclub fame takes an incredibly reserved approach, rather than drown the vocal layers and synthetic timbres in reverb he just perfects the tone of each instrument and allows them to shine on their own terms, on their own musical merit.
The end result is the perfect antidote to the rancid aftertaste of 2016, optimistic, warm and heartfelt.
This might just be the perfect thing to blow out the winter cobwebs and get you outside for the upcoming live shows.