By Chelsea Ness
The EP we’ve all been waiting for is finally here!! Bristol’s very own melancholic duo, Yard Arms are back with their third EP, Sanctuary Lines and I can confirm it’s certainly worth the wait. The band are actually a relatively new discovery for me but as soon as I heard their dreamy, instrumental sound I was instantly a fan. I mentioned in a previous review that they are a band who take listeners on a journey and Sanctuary Lines clearly demonstrates that.
Mantra provides the perfect opening to the EP with its enchanting melodies and captivating lyrics. This was actually the first track I ever heard from Yard Arms but as soon as I heard it, I was completely mesmerised. There’s an inspiring yet peaceful aura that is carried throughout, creating this sense of freedom… the type of track you’d listen to with a face-mask on after a bad day. I actually reviewed this track in a lot more detail when it was released as a single last month which you can read here.
The second track, Silicone Crowd continues to grip listeners in with its flow of colourful sound. The opening lyric: ‘I’m the one that you let down‘ instantly intrigues listeners. An exciting opening statement that immediately hooks us from the get-go. Despite the lyrics relating to a sinister past experience about an apparent break-up, the instrumental blend within Silicone Crowd is bright and radiant. The music makes us want to smile yet the lyrics convey a darker meaning creating this juxtaposition for the listener. It’s the type of song that makes you feel happiness, heartbreak and closure all at the same time which beautifully creates a range of emotions for the listener. It’s a song that really makes you feel something which so many bands can find difficult to grasp within song-writing yet to Yard Arms it becomes second nature.
Next up we have, ‘These Four Walls’ which was also released as a single at the start of the month to give fans a teaser of what to expect from the upcoming EP. The previous two tracks, Mantra and Silicone Crowd have a more easy flow of glowing melodies whereas These Four Walls not only shows a more rockier style to the band but also highlights the incredible vocal range of lead singer, Noah Villeneuve. It shows that Yard Arms aren’t afraid to experiment with their style emphasising the variety in sound the band have. These Four Walls is made up of rapid drum beats, heavy guitar riffs and powerful strong vocals that really show a different side to the usual softer style of Yard Arms. This would be an incredible track to get the crowd going during a live set.
The last track of the EP, Fables resorts back to the gentle, rising melodies that we all know and love from Mantra and Silicone Crowd yet still carries on this touching ballad-like anthem similar to the style of These Four Walls. In summary, the final track blends the full EP together creating similar instrumentals as the previous tracks but with its own individual touch. It’s the perfect track to conclude with its soothing aura. Amber Run comes to mind when I first heard Fables, starting off with an emotional yet charming elegance within the instrumental which slowly but effectively builds up to this incredibly touching climatic peak. The words, ‘Sanctuary Lines’ are repeated thoroughly throughout the song making it the perfect title for the EP.
For me, Sanctuary Lines is an exceptionally moving piece of work that really shows the depth of Yard Arms talents. They’re a band that explore a variety of different emotions throughout the four tracks of the EP that allows listeners to escape from the consistent struggles of everyday life… the power of music strikes again and Yard Arms should certainly take all the credit.
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