Indie-rock band Gengahr has told The River that their new album Sanctuary is their most personal and emotional record to date.
After the release of their second album Where Wildness Grows in 2018, Gengahr’s frontman Felix Bushe faced emotional turmoil when his mother passed away, and his girlfriend’s visa ran out forcing her to return to Australia.
Bushe explained how his heartache inspired the material for Sanctuary, which explores the emotions of grief and long-distance relationships.
“Our previous albums have been more focused around escapism,” he said. “Sanctuary is a lot more personal which is not what I intended our record to be. It was circumstantial, but I think, in the end, it was unavoidable.”
Gengahr enlisted the help of Bombay Bicycle Club’s Jack Steadman to produce their latest album which was released on January 31.
Bushe said: “We were friends a while ago and we hadn’t seen each for ages. We did a one-off single together, Atlas Please, and it worked really well, so we discussed the possibility of doing an album which he was really up for.
“We thought we would get cracking. We got it wrapped up fairly quickly. Well, quickly by our standards at least.”
The day of their album release, the North London band performed an intimate set at Banquet Records in Kingston, debuting their new experimental tracks live.
Sanctuary explores a new sound for Gengahr while still embracing Bushe’s trademark falsetto.
Bushe said: “The ambition for this year is to be able to let music sustain our life. We want to be able to do this and nothing else. Not even in a glamorous way, just a way that is comfortable enough.
“I love the span of things that we get to do – make videos, artwork, music, recording, playing live. It’s such a diverse role as a musician, and that’s the best thing about it.
“Any other job I’d do, I’d get really bored because it’s too much of the same thing. We get to do a bit of everything, and I like all of those aspects.
“When you get bored of one thing, the next thing turns up, and it’s all refreshing.”
The psychedelic group expects 2020 to be a busy year for them, as they are due to embark on a world tour this month playing across the UK, Europe and Australia, and have been announced to perform at several festivals, including Truck, with more in the pipeline.