Taking a listener on “self-reflective trip” through Buddhist-inspired enlightenment, Ugly’s latest is a soul-stirring call for spiritual reflection.
‘Sha’ centres around “the powerful Nichiren Buddhist chant ‘Nam Myoho Renge Kyo”. Jasmine Miller-Sauchella – who takes lead vocals here – had discovered it while watching Herbie Hancock videos and starting applying it to her own day-day. “By incorporating this beautifully invigorating yet simple chant within ‘Sha’”, the group say, “it gives us (as a band and as individuals) as well as the listeners a chance to feel freer, and more autonomous in the way we nurture and guide our creative intentions.”
Accordingly, ‘Sha’ breezes, calms, and invigorates, bedecked in purity head-to-toe. Just as 8-minute summer epic, ‘I’m Happy You’re Here’ ripped up the Ugly notebook with its rabbit-holing twists and turns, ‘Sha’ similarly confounds all expectations for what this six-piece are capable of churning. Doling out slabs of holiness in George Harrison-sized portions, this 3+ minute long elegance wades and wanders with Big Thief’ian wholesomeness. It’s all sweet melancholy and arpeggiation, with a palpable sense of communal uplift to boot.
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