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Sanguine Hum: Now We Have Light

Exquisite neo-prog on Oxford group’s fourth LP.

Ah, what lies behind the giant stone cat of Sanguine Hum’s new cover? Actually, possibly the best contemporary prog record we’ve heard all year.

Part exercise in spine-tingling tunes (the lovely Out Of Mind), part sophisticated blend of electronic and organic qualities, Now We Have Light is accompanied by a dystopian, Joe’s Garage-esque story in the sleevenotes, opening with: “It’s the future! And everything has pretty much gone to shit…

Ruminations on cats, economic collapse and beaches ensue, led by greying, disaffected protagonist Don. It’s an eccentric but engaging backdrop to this exquisitely composed record – a Frank Zappa-meets-Porcupine Tree voyage of discovery.

Yet for all its themes of apocalyptic strife and societal doom, soothing qualities abound. There are ambient notes in the instrumental likes of Getting Warmer, while trip-hop beats and gently jazzy melodies give the sense of an ambient Steely Dan, offset by harder edges amid the spaciness. Strange, beautiful music./o:p

Polly is Features Editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage) and writes a few things. She also writes for Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer, and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.