"Sanctuary" - Ross Ainslie

‘Sanctuary’ is one of those albums that get right under your skin.  The melancholy strains of the Eastern-influenced strings coupled with the deeply haunting whistle take you to another plane…  where there are elephants.  There are definitely elephants.  And peacocks.

I spent the full 43 minutes of a train ride from Edinburgh to Glasgow, headphones in, sitting cross-legged on my own personal cumulonimbus.  Drawn into Ross’s ‘Inner Sanctuary’ and held in a Shooglenifty-esque, vibey ‘Happy Place’ through some ‘Beautiful Mysteries’ to ‘Cloud Surfing’ (a standout track for me, pacy, sexy and strong, it took me exactly where I wanted to go) and then on to the ‘Road to Recovery’ and whatever lies beyond…

This is a beautifully crafted album full of fat whistle and funky alt-folk vibes, but more than that its message is clear from the get-go:  life is not easy, there are many obstacles in our way, but if we are strong and stay true to ourselves (easier said than done), if we manage not to obliterate ourselves in order to escape from reality and the inner void (not easy for creative people!), that ultimately we can find great joy in the simple things:  a baby’s smile, the feeling of water on our skin, the sun on our face, the wind in our hair, or as Karine Polwart would have it ‘the sound of the rain… you have to find joy where you can.’ 

I found some here.  This is a life-affirming, yogic voyage through someone else’s heart and soul.  Thanks for inviting us in. 

Kate Reid - Celtic Link Music Guru