August 20, 2010 Sacred Animals // Welcome Home (2010)
Some of the most beautiful music I have discovered this year has come to me through the practice of circumstance. There is something to be taken from those moments of insomnia, fuelled so equally by coffee and lethargy, when your obsessive need to click and click and click again will transport you into un-trodden pastures. It is through this age-old practice of trial and error that I stumbled upon the enigmatic, psych-folk, genre-weavers that are Dublin’s Sacred Animals, and their Four Track EP ‘Welcome Home’.
As to the etymology of the band there is little to be said, for out there in the vastness of the internet, there is little to be found by one who entered into this agreement of artist and fan, unknowingly. In the act of self-creation, the band draw upon their native landscapes, between Dublin and Wexford, the mountains and the Sally Gap, to create a parallel with their music which is steeped in delicacy and nostalgia.
“From the Sally Gap you can look out across Lough Tay hundreds of metres below and see the wind carving its way through the hills. “The energy is incredible – so primal. You realise life is pretty fleeting. But that’s kind of precious in a weird way.”
My own experiences of the Sally Gap are vastly different from this considered familiarity. I remember Sundays spent dreading the stomach churning trip where I would spend the minutes with a tiny sweating head plastered to the back seat. I would have missed the view entirely were I not, time and again, without fail forced out of the car for air, stumbling along the windy roads with my Dad driving slowly behind, patient and resilient. Still, I think of moments, the ones spent exercising chubby legs with a belly full of bile and a lungful of the thick, wet air, when I listen to this EP. I think of the different experiences that a person can have from being stranded somewhere hidden, and the things that can come out of it. I can situate this music there, both in the vision that the band recreate in their music and in the memories I can draw from myself.
Quite simply, I find this absolutely beautiful. I think each song is amazing for an individual reason, and I think there is so much more to be had from listening to this over and over and thinking about and then listening again and not thinking at all. Darragh cites Thom Yorke and Grizzly Bear as interests and honestly, usually that would be enough to make me not want to listen to a band. But here the influences are apparent and visible but by no means overwhelming.
I’ve always felt a bit ill at ease with William Wordsworth’s reasoning that poetry is ‘a spontaneous overflow of emotion’. I’m not quite sure why, but there was something uncomfortable, for me, in the notion that art can be created in a single moment; taken from a point of catharsis or from anger. I can see Sacred Animals being described as a band of moments, plucking songs from the creations of these moments. For me it is something entirely different, and the songs sound like considerations. Reflections on these moments. It’s more of a comment on the spontaneity of nature, than spontaneity itself. I’d like to think of that as crafted.
I think in that way, it’s very difficult to choose a standout track from the EP. They all weave in together, but emerge from vastly different places. I think it’s worth listening to yourself, because I think people will find ultimately individual things in it themselves.
‘Welcome Home’ is streaming on Sacred Animals Bandcamp site, and will be officially launched into the world of solid, tangible items on September 13th. Keep your eyes open and your tongues extended.
It is also worth noting that Loreana Rushe of My Left Ventricle has done some absolutely gorgeous photography for the band, which they have duly posted on their facebook. You can see a sample of her work in the photo posted above, but it is well worth checking out the other two images posted. Seriously, I cannot stop looking at them.
One word review says: Delicate
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