SANCTUARY (GENGAHR)

RELEASED 31ST JANUARY 2020

Favourite track: Never A Low

An atmospheric, intriguing and extremely listenable blend of Alternative British Rock blitzed with electronic intricacies.

There isn’t much information on the 4 piece group Gengahr who have a big listening in London. But, as usual, I love discovering new artists and music in general. I didn’t know what to expect from this group – not even genre-wise. Their 10-track album Sanctuary has cover art that depicts a calming, blue natural scene with a girl standing at the edge of some stones leading into a body of water.

Image credit: DIY Mag

The first track ‘Everything & More’ opens with eerie FX and then a drum kit. It has an 80s feel to it through an echo chamber. The vocals are edgy and switch between being soft and smooth to sharp and cutting. It’s very listenable and there are calmer moments in the song which breaks it up nicely. The next track ‘Atlas Please’ has a STRONG opening with a very much alive drum-kit but then also muted piano/electric guitar sound – it’s hard to tell exactly. This one is about “getting out sometimes” and “getting what you need” to live fully. It’s very catchy and all of the instrumentals and drums blend very well together. ‘Heavenly Maybe’ is totally Funk in its composition and even vocal delivery. The only way I can describe this is if you had the very odd combination of Prince with The Smiths. The next song, ‘Never A Low’ opens with a HARD BEAT and bass but it’s such a vibe. It’s got this weird, atmospheric feel to it and then a sassy flex to it. Have to admit the guitar work near the end is brilliant.

‘Fantasy’ has a very Beach House-esque opening for any fans of Beach House. It’s 80s, atmospheric (filled with echoes and vocal layering) on a backdrop of a repetitive synth. It’s more of a build which then becomes this crazy intense synth work. I like the classic British Rock vocal work and melody in the opening of ‘You’re No Fun’ which is another one that picks up and drops the pace. ‘Soaking In Formula’ has a pretty dream guitar opening that then fades away as a burst of retro 80s Funk energy comes through. It’s a great tune and kind of a great song title too. ‘Anime’ opens with a strange pulse guitar sound and then it turns into that dream 80s instrumental but the beat it interesting here. It’s not what you would expect and it adds a complexity to it. I love the 80s synths in the opening of ‘Icarus’ as it builds to include synth keys which then becomes almost Pop in its composition and melody.

The final track is called ‘Moonlight’ and opens with shakers and acoustic guitar that echoes amidst some quick vocal work. I love the vocals in this. It’s very upbeat but romantic in its lyrical quality and melody overall. I really like the music in this album and it’s not hard to listen all the way through as it’s recognisably the same artist but each song is unique.    

I can image the music to be in a film about some sort of a journey without a doubt.