Sacred Paws is an exceptional live band, creating an intoxicating musical landscape they force any crowd from the dingiest hall to dance around their handbags and transport them to sunnier places.
The complicated African highlife rhythms and constantly catchy riffs are even more incredible and surprising considering the band are a two piece, although granted at their album launch they incorporated a larger band for portions of the set.
Their new album Strike A Match captures the magic of the live shows as well as navigating the melancholy of break ups and millennial mid 20s crises in a uniquely upbeat and comforting way.
Lyrically this album has humour and depth (“we’re making mountains out of gas bills”), it’s almost Smithesque in the way that the up beat music is paired with monochrome tales of wanting to escape your town.
Singer and guitarist’s Rachel Aggs’ vocals are cool and detached through out (lending to a early 80s new wave vibe) but there are points where a real sincerity and yearning comes through in the delivery.
The line, “it’s ok it won’t matter, in a month, in a year”, from opening track ‘Nothing’, bursts with feeling, perhaps about the end of a relationship or just about getting over one of life’s ruts.
Title track ‘Strike A Match’ is a love song that’s catchy and punchy with a real allure to it.
As well as drums and guitar the album is full off tasty nuggets of other instruments, from trumpet fanfares to classic sounding synthesisers, despite this the core sound of the band is undiminished.
Whether your dancing round your living room or trying to suppress a smile on the tube, this really is an album you could fall in and out of love to, and although it was released this winter it will be a perfect indie soundtrack to your summer and beyond.
Words: Peter Johnstone