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coverpic flag Norway - Full Moon 162 - 12/02/09

Sacred Harp
Sacred Harp
The Perfect Hoax

It's very rare that I listen all the way through an album or EP and then immediately go straight back to the start to listen again. But this is just what happened with the debut EP by Norwegian trio Sacred Harp. Dripping with atmosphere and laudable restraint, this EP is damn near perfect, and has me salivating at the prospect of a Sacred Harp full-length.

The basic template for these songs is simple, but the feel is just right. There's not too much embellishment or over-thinking - just emotionally weighty slowcore indie-rock with female vocals. Jessica Sligter's voice sounds like it's coming from the bottom of a well - but a well inside the horn of a megaphone. The bass is full and lithe, the drums resonant and sparse, the guitar reverb-laden or scuffed up by '60s fuzztones. Each song unfolds with grace, creating a listening space that is luxuriant yet slightly sinister, like a spider crawling over velvet.

Opener 'Next Time Too' has a stately throb that eases the listener into Sacred Harp's musical space, preparing the way beautifully for '(Trial) & Felt', which has a similar feel to Jefferson Airplane's 'White Rabbit', but without the "Feed your head!" climax. 'Wither the Wind' has the kind of narcotic sway that is intoxicating, and a whistled melody that really sticks in your mind. And closer 'Elevator Endelos' has a delicious restrained bassline.

This EP comes very highly recommended, and it definitely the best EP I've heard all year.

Copyright © 2009 Tim Clarke e-mail address

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