Let’s get this straight; I hate December. It’s cold and it’s bleak. Our bodies are unwisely forced to brave icy chills and sharp intakes of frosty air. On the early dark evenings those of us with sense or alcohol problems seek respite by the warmth of a good pub. It’s horrible but it’s not as horrible as some places. I’m sure we’ve all seen a David Attenborough documentary at some point and therefore can confidently confirm that winter in Norway has a reputation for being much more fierce and depressing than our own (no wonder their suicide rate is so high, ehm). So what better time for a Norwegian band called Sacred Harp to distract us from our surroundings with their debut album Window’s a Fall.

I’m just going to throw it straight out there as if I was playing catch as an American child with my gleaming teeth and over enthusiastic father (yeh we’ve all seen the films), this album is damn good. It’s not too often you get to say that about a band you’ve never heard of and when you do it’s a very satisfying feeling. So much so that I can already offer a big thanks to Sacred Harp for cheering me up.

The album is well constructed and produced from start to finish, offset with a bi-polar mixture between off-kilter experimental rock and very melodic sustained fuzzy guitars and soft vocals. Jessica Sligter holds the reigns as the groups lead singer at which she does a great job. She sings in a beautiful but haunting tone combining with her lyrics that are about as melancholy as her tone. In the song ‘Julie’ Sligters’ voice oozes into your ears as she commands ‘arms we’re too wide open… to self defend, give him your hand’.

It’s not easy to come up with comparisons for this band. It’s somewhat of a quandary but ultimately it means that the future is bright for Sacred Harp. Although there will inevitably be vague comparisons perhaps with bands like Blonde Redhead or possibly Stereolab this isn’t a carbon copy of anything. It’s bold and brash enough to firmly stand on its own eight feet.

As much as I’d like to go into detail with describing each song that really wouldn’t be appropriate here as I’d be struggling to make clear descriptions. My strongest recommendations are to listen to this album perhaps looking out from the warmth of that pub window onto the cold outside world. This record has the potential to become a lifelong friend if you give it enough attention.