Album: Amour EP
Record Label: Self-released
Release Date: 11/2/2016
Discussions about imagery in indie rock in 2016 are likely to leave those interested in such things by the wayside next to a pile of faded issues of Record Collector from the '90s, replacing them in the post-Libertines climate with a hype machine efficient and vacuous enough to leave almost no room besides the old guard to pursue those interests.
Brighton, UK group Sahara seem to be versed in the idea of an image though. Aesthetically and sonically their oeuvre sits somewhere between the arid plains that the cover art of their debut EP Amour depicts and the flashy but dark-and-morose-beneath-the-surface approach of mid-noughties New York. Shimmering, reverb-laden twin guitar lines cut and weave over occasionally afro-beat mirroring rhythms and well-judged changes in pace. Though it's a rather conservative sound, the EP feels as though it's well aware of its heritage but is happy to be a part of it rather than transcend anything. That may suggest a certain air of vapidity, but to say that the songs weren't tuneful or well-constructed, particularly on the likes of dextrous opener 'Green Light', would be a great disservice.
At this early stage it feels like there's plenty left to be said about the band's visual identity, and 'Amour' is enticing because it offers the promise of something not just artistic, but also genuine. It's showy in an age where expressionism is consistently dulled in the mainstream, and Sahara seem to have plenty left to offer.