Following a five year gap since their last release, Saso return with a new album, titled 'Exitudes', which will be released in November 2011 on the Melted Snow label. The album marks a new chapter for the Dublin-based band, its distinctive atmosphere and textures reflecting the creative uncertainty that preceded the disc’s recording, not to mention the wider drama unfolding around them in Ireland.
Although relatively unknown in their home country, Saso are one of the most critically acclaimed bands to come out of Ireland in recent years, establishing a dedicated fanbase in the UK, Europe and the USA. Their debut album ‘Big Group Hug’ was named Album of the Week in The Sunday Times, and received 4 out of 5 star reviews in Q Magazine, Muzik, Rock Sound, The Irish Times, The Irish Independent, Hot Press, The Event Guide and many others. ‘Exitudes’ aims to build on this critical reputation, while expanding the band’s sound and audience.
In 2007, having enjoyed chart success with the song ‘Type A Jitters’ which was used for a TV advertisement for Coors Light in Ireland, Saso subsequently decided to focus on developing a more commercial sound to build on this achievement. The band, centred around the core creative duo of Jim Lawler and Ben Rawlins, spent a considerable time in the studio, but became increasingly disillusioned with their more populist direction. Creatively frustrated, they decided to abandon a year’s worth of recorded material, start again and re-assess the reasons for making music and to achieve meaning in what they do. At the same time the country was experiencing the slow death of its economy and Saso felt compelled to document this decline and create a body of work that reflected on this theme.
Pitched somewhere between post rock and the pastoral stylings of Talk Talk and XTC, Saso wear their influences on their sleeve yet also create a unique sound of their own. Their reputation is one of a genuine independent band with a dedication to producing music of aesthetic individuality and undiminished spirit.
With its muted piano and ominous drum patterns, the opening track ‘Billion Hands’ sets a haunting tone for the rest of the album and builds on imagery of overpopulation and global warming. Tracks like ‘Carousel’, ‘From Limbo’ and ‘Secret Ministry’ pull the listener into darker territory and this passage is broken by the meandering ambient soundscape of ‘Silent Earth’, which forms the centerpiece of the album.
The second half of ‘Exitudes’ changes tone with more emotionally charged lyrics and pastoral themes. Warm acoustics underpin Lawler’s fragile falsetto vocal, to reveal a beautiful, shimmering musical core. ‘Facts’ displays a strong combination of the band's musical influences and melodic elements where a steady cymbal beat shuffles beneath shimmering guitars and delicate piano.
The album finishes with a trademark Saso instrumental piece ‘Pull The Plug’.
They say the art form of album making is finished in this age of downloads and file sharing, thankfully no one told Saso.