The duo Sans Abri has struggled to find its place in music. Formerly known as The Packway Handle Band, the Athens/Atlanta-based group has proved they found a place with the debut of its album "Shelter".
"Shelter" provides a great contrast to the popular songs that plague the top-40 charts today. The album breaks away from stereotypical songs about love, partying and heartbreak. The lyrics are meaningful and thought-provoking, providing more depth than most songs on the radio.
The sound of "Shelter" is entirely different as well. Branching into the Americana genre, the duo comprises its sound with drum beats, mandolin, electric and acoustic guitars. This provides a very natural sound that is difficult to find.
The album opens with a fun song titled "Self Preservation," which sets the tone. Throughout each song, there is the pleasant sound of the mandolin. This instrument provides an air of relaxation, even with the more serious and pressing aspects of the songs.
The concept of creation is tackled in "The Scientist." This song offers curiosity about existence and the world we inhabit.
The album isn’t all serious.
"Every Turn" is a fast, catchy song simply about getting lost on the road. This precedes the darker song "One Pill A Day," which revolves around concept of functioning normally with the aid of medication.
The album closes with an extremely sentimental song that differs from the ones that precede it. The closing track "Wind Me Up" contains no drum beats. It is composed solely of guitars and the voices of the duo, which provides a satisfying end to the album.
Sans Abri provides a refreshing sound with the album "Shelter." The lyrics are honest and have depth to them. The songs were written intentionally, not just thrown together. The combination of the voices of the duo and the instruments create a natural, pure sound. The songs are organized to contrast one another. The more serious songs are surrounded by optimistic ones, creating a variety of emotions upon listening to the album. With only seven songs, the album leaves the listener wanting more.