Posted by Aphra Magazine by 16/6/15.
Saskwatch have been experimenting with their soul sound, meshing different genres together in order to create their newest album Sorry I Let It Come Between Us. They are also re-emerging with just six members, rather than their previous nine members, so we are about to experience a significant change in the texture and feel of their music.
Sorry I Let It Come Between Us is a thought-provoking album that challenges any notion we had of Saskwatch’s sound, evoking ambivalence through its topsy-turvy rollercoaster of bluesy sorrow, intense guitar pop and delicately refined ballads. We are positioned to feel both at ease and unease throughout the album’s progressions and it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly why; this album positions us to simply experience what it’s throwing at us without attempting to rationalise it.
Vocalist Nkechi Anele has a powerful voice, which she awes her listeners with. In single ‘I’ll Be Fine’, her vocals are relatively fuzzy, accentuating the relaxed and easy-going feel of the song. The chorus is comprised of a steady drumbeat and accompanied by a trumpet sound that is edgy and hypes up the lazy feel of the song.
Our relaxed stance, however, is quickly altered as we are plunged into the brooding darkness of ‘In Your Arms’. Here Anele’s vocals are filled with a longing to reconcile with a past lover, as she sings, ‘What I wouldn’t give to be in your arms again’. The song emanates a romantic vibe, but the guitar strokes in the chorus taint that vibe, shadowing the song with sadness and loss.
‘Spitting Image’ intrigues with its juxtaposition of various instruments; there are some soft acoustics at the beginning, and then we hear percussive sounds in the chorus, which give the song a haunting and bittersweet vibe. ‘I’m feeling sentimental and blue, another spitting image of you,’ sings Anele, and then continues with ‘drowning in the deep end, it’s true’. Throughout the song, we hear a heavier guitar sound, and the deepening trumpet that comes next only thrusts us further into this murky darkness.
‘Everyone’s Giving Up’ is the most bluesy song on the record. It begins with slow and deep guitar strokes as Anele then graces our ears with her sweet voice. Everyone’s giving up,’ she sings throughout the song. In the chorus both the guitar and trumpet are alternatively amped up. Perhaps we are supposed to give up trying to predict where this emotional rollercoaster is going to hurl us next, and just simply enjoy the ride instead.
‘Blind’ is a truly beautiful song, Anele’s vocals filled with misery and despair as she sings, ‘Guess I keep waiting, I must be blind’. Yet the slow progression of the song lulls us into a gentle meditative state. ‘Down The Stairs’ lifts us out of that dreamy state with its upbeat nature.‘You’re not coming back, feels like you’re falling down the stairs,’ sings Anele. We literally fall down the stairs, the floor taken out from under our feet with the sudden change in mood.
‘Sorry I Let It Come Between Us’ has a delicate acoustic beginning, and once again Anele makes us feel as though we’re floating on clouds as she sings, ‘Shipwrecked on the seas of love, waves crashing through the stars above, they break the seas, I can’t help it I’m falling’. Her voice is gentle and flows through the song effortlessly, and we feel encouraged to let go of all the sadness that we felt beforehand in the first few songs of the album. ‘Your Drug’ is the final song of the album, and it also has a soft temperament, except for the occasional deep piano notes that disturb that tranquil feeling.
Sorry I Let It Come Between Us is a wonderful album that takes us on a gripping journey through the highs and lows of each song, ensuring that we really grasp the positive and negative emotions that Saskwatch are projecting through their music. Perhaps we are being taught not to over analyze the situations that we are thrust into; rather, we should just go with the flow and take each moment as it comes. Either way, this album is a fulfilling listen deserving of our praise.
Saskwatch – Sorry I Let It Come Between Us is out now via Northside Records / Remote Control Records