'Sanctuary' sees Gengahr explore further afield out from their usual mild-yet-sweet dream pop. Though still intricate and intact, the sonic shift to grittier territories is exhilarating - and makes sense when considering the record was inspired by frontman Felix's mother's death and his long-distance relationship with his wife.
Though tackling difficult subject matters, the album feels buoyant and bright. 'Atlas Please' sets the mood with twinkling grooves, 'Heavenly Maybe' is funk heavy and drips in disco lights. The sharper moments are fantastic and grasp your attention tightly with both hands, like the hazy and dark trip-hop of 'Never A Low', and the chaotically fun album highlight 'You're No Fun', that feels beautifully oxymoronic with Felix's sleepy vocals against punk guitars.
While 2018's 'Where Wildness Grows' was a natural progression from 2015's 'A Dream Outside', 'Sanctuary' is a monumental shift in the right direction - it's a record that's boldly more expansive and electrifyingly curious.