Monday, 12 September 2011

Brainlove Release Debut Album by SACRED HARP

"Window's A Fall"
released 05/12/11 on Brainlove Records

"Sacred Harp is an imaginary movie directed by David Lynch, where Billie Holiday, Deerhoof, Earth and Low are picking mushrooms with John Cage."

It's almost hard to believe "Window's A Fall" is the debut album by Norwegian four-piece Sacred Harp, such is the assuredness displayed throughout it's eight kaleidoscopic tracks.

From atonal blues to teutonic prog; from jazz tinged freakouts to delicate lullabies to arena-sized climaxes, the album writhes, seduces and entices, all the time refusing to be pinned down to a signature sound. A surprise hides around every corner, and the imagination and variety of "Window's A Fall" fills the imagination of the listener with colour.

In the past two years, Sacred Harp has inadvertently grown into one of Oslo’s favourite new bands. Their self titled EP, released in 2009, startled reviewers into bewildered praise and set off word of mouth that created widespread anticipation for what was to come next. After developing and polishing their extraordinary sound in the studio, they now present their debut album “Window’s a Fall”. Recorded and mixed by Bjarne Stensli (of Harrys Gym) and by Sacred Harp´s own Juhani Silvola, the record has one foot in the Norwegian rock aesthetic, but that narrow categorization doesn’t begin to cover their sonic breadth.

Sacred Harp is a four-piece band, comprising Jessica Sligter (vocals, guitar, keys), Juhani Silvola (guitar, bass, keys), Øystein Skar (keys) and Andreas Lønmo Knudsrød (drums). All come from the tight-knit community of Oslo musicians embracing experimental, free improvised music, as well as rock and alternative popular music, and they shamelessly blend and combine elements of their collective musical fancy into their endeavours. In fact, Sacred Harp, started out as an improv-trio, without drums, but soon they realized that their strength as a group lay in another direction. With Jessica´s expressive vocals and ability to create unique, strong melodies and lyrics, Juhani´s wide-ranging experience working in genres like noise, rock and folk music, and Øystein´s colorful pallet and versatility on keyboards, the trio found that in bringing together their strongest qualities they could construct powerful compositions and intricate arrangements. Sacred Harp found it’s fourth member in Andreas, the two-metre-tall anchor that creates a rhythmic foundation to their recordings and performances.

The music of Sacred Harp clearly reflects the eclectic mindset of the environment they sprouted from. As the title conveys, “Window´s a Fall” is an ominous record, inspired by the work of greats like David Lynch, Alfred Hitchcock, and also by regular TV, for example the TV series True Blood. Danger is always present, evidently or subtly insinuated, but it’s the uncertainty that it is exciting and enchanting. Their influences also lead to a combination of polished and freakish elements, tied in a highly cinematic and dynamic aesthetic. Needless to say, Sacred Harp´s music has great theatrical potential that makes their live show the ultimate Sacred Harp experience.

"Window's A Fall" comes out via Brainlove on December 5th 2011, in partnership with Trust Me Records of Oslo.

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