It is a rare sound that is at once lush and primal but that is exactly what you’ll find on this debut EP from mysterious Wexford native Sacred Animals. Nothing is really clear about this record; from the cautious, oblique lyrics to the personnel involved. With only a couple of gigs under the belt, their anonymity is a blessing and a curse. On one hand it gives you no option but to focus on the music, and there is certainly plenty to concentrate on here, but on the other it can be frustrating as you search for a face to put to words and sounds that seem so deeply personal.
Opener ‘Wired, Islands’ sets the tone, with a deceptively chirpy Wurlitzer line that’s quickly swallowed by the vocals and strings, twisted together inseparably, hinting at the likes of Thom Yorke and Justin Vernon without ever sounding too like them. It almost lifts off after the second chorus with the refrain of “You’re not in control” buried amidst the layers of percussion and synths. By the end the vocals are hanging naked and exposed, all that’s left after the attempt to soar.
This is a stunningly accomplished debut, showcasing a sound that is hugely impressive despite the feeling it is in its natal stage. There will no doubt be much more to come as Sacred Animals continue to plow this beautiful furrow.