Sagamore are the kind of beautiful Australiana treasure that only exists in Banjo Paterson poems. They combine luscious guitar atmosphere with a little organ flair and enough Aussie accent to kill Ben Cousins. Sagamore’s music is, frankly, gorgeous. Like, if late 70’s Iggy Pop went to Adelaide for a couple years and hung out with Ben Folds and Brian Wilson for a bit, then re-located to Melbourne (as Adelaide musicians are wont to do) and hung out with Twerps and Dick Diver, then I feel as though a band such as Sagamore could have come to fruition.
As it happens, none of that shit happened, and unless time machines, kidnapping and luck all happen to suddenly exist as legal and plausible entities, it looks as though Sagamore will exist as the only thing that sounds like Sagamore. Which I guess is a good thing, because on their debut, self-titled EP, oh boy do they sound fantastic, and it would probably be shit if a strung out, self-entitled late 70’s Iggy Pop got thrown in the mix.
The opening track for the EP, ‘Good Love’ sets the scene for what will be the most pleasant 20 minutes and 55 seconds of your day. ‘Good Love’ slowly slides up and down in a mesmerising fashion, and lackadaisical guitar plucking its way along like a rowboat on the Mississippi River. It shimmers and shines with the sort of holy, naturalistic vibe of a thousand fireflies in the sky at night. It has the rollicking, personal feel of a couple mates at a campfire in the middle of Fuck Knows Where, just hanging out with a couple instruments, and having a laugh.
The next track, ‘I Had A Dream’, is a sorrowful and tear-stained regret anti-anthem, a solid but not illogical departure from the opening track. The muddly guitar rolls on its back, whilst the harmonica cries whispers. Seriously, and I’m about to say something I’ve never said before, but the harmonica makes this song what it is. All the warbled trouble and pain that is so well-held in the vocals, guitar, organ and other instruments is completely let loose in the moments that the harmonica gets to take the limelight. The result is a song that will make you weep like you just watched Ryan Gosling get ugly in slow motion.
After a stellar double kick of two stunning songs, the EP slows into ‘Carry On’, a track that could have been created whilst on a train going cross-country. The slow song drags along in a delightfully entertaining way, whilst the sharp bursts of organ and vocals for the chorus ensure that it never gets boring. ‘Oh My Love’ is sort of similar to ‘Carry On’, in that it shifts between plodding and swelling in a friendly manner, albeit it does this in a more upbeat manner. Finally, the closer ‘Lover Got Another’ does a fine job of summarising the EP, with a swishing rhythm and alt-country vibe that would put Blitzen Trapper to shame.
Although the EP might only get the attention for the first two tracks, Sagamore have put out an EP that is full of well-thought out and incredibly produced music. Everything about Sagamore shows a quiet beauty that one can’t help but admire, and get kind of jealous over.