We just love the new single from John Leslie Hulcombe! Sanctuary is 5 minutes and 23 seconds of chilled out pleasantness!
Sanctuary starts with some gentle keys and synths backing before his strong and confident vocals come in fairly quickly. The first verse is just his lead vocals, but by the time you get to the chorus at about 40 seconds in, you are just washed over with the most positive and uplifting symphony of layered vocals. You will have goosebumps. We have no doubt!
The song continues to develop and that all important second verse adds in drums and strings to maintain interest. Sanctuary is mostly led by some beautiful clean guitar and piano with gorgeous strings and synths and drums to fill out the sound perfectly
The sections throughout the song are well defined and the use of rise and fall to maintain interest really is quite expertly executed.
There’s something about the second chorus when it comes in that just makes you soar. It’s almost as if Hulcombe is holding the listeners emotions in his hands and its not just the lyrics that claw at your heartstrings – it’s the entire song just washing over you that leaves you feeling fantastic.
The vocals are very clear and sit comfortably in the mix. There’s no straining to hear lyrics, they sit perfectly. We were reminded very much of Rufus Wainwright’s vocal style, but Hulcombe nonetheless has a real individuality to his voice which seems to somehow convey sincerity. Hulcombe is clearly singing from the heart. The passion is undeniable.
At one point there is a gorgeous solo with long notes that almost sound as though they were played on a continuum. We’re not sure, but whatever instrument it was, it’s perfect for the song. It felt evocative and for some reason made us think of whales and oceans!! This really is very relaxing stuff and we’re all very grateful for the 5 or so minutes of letting our shoulders come away from our ears and the stresses of modern life!
Sanctuary is extremely well mixed and mastered. If we absolutely had to consider any mastering changes we’d suggest a tiny dip at around 15kHz for a slightly piercing frequency in the percussion. A tiny cut in the low mids and a tiny boost across the high mids will just help balance everything a little more.
John Leslie Hulcombe has produced something really quite beautiful and ethereal in his latest track, Sanctuary. We firmly believe this song deserves a wide audience and would strongly recommend lovers of dream pop and chillout music to drop everything and go listen to Sanctuary.