NXNE Day 3: Sacred Balance at ElMo

After a long night of energetic music, one needs to wind down before slipping into bed to recover.  Slipping away from the frenetic sounds of The Painted Lady, I made my way to the iconic El Mocambo to wind down to the ethereal sounds of Toronto/Montreal band Sacred Balance.

With lush, haunting vocals supplied by Chloe Charles, Sacred Balance dwells in, for simplicity’s sake, trip-hop.  Blending moody guitar lines with keyboard and drums, the band delivers a sonic landscape that is unnerving yet not uncomfortable.  Tunes like “Chaos” envelop the senses and bring the listener on a reflective journey, earning the band’s “touch of psychedelia” description.

There is a harder edge here, one that some attempt to capture with a side reference to Radiohead.  I disagree:  I’m reminded more of the simultaneous fragility and strength in early Imogen Heap songs.  Toss that in a blender with Jakalope’s debut album and Portishead’s Third and one perhaps begins to appreciate the nuances of Sacred Balance.  There is an earnestness and urgency in their songs, entreating one to pay attention, to truly hear what is on offer.  And yet, one is soothed, a snake charmed.

A fitting end to a stellar night.

More on Sacred Balance

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