Named after lead singer David Stern’s mother, The Sanctuaries’ Annette doesn’t sound like a debut record by a group of guys in their early twenties. It’s smarter than that. Brian Indig (drums), Alex Northrup (keys, 12-string), Matt Stauffer (bass), David Stern (guitar, vocals) have made a grand introduction by mixing the colorful tones of ’60s legends like The Byrds with the witty indie rock of Pavement and Yo La Tengo.
In early 2011, The Sanctuaries headed south from Brooklyn to record with Roger Moutenot (Yo La Tengo, Sleater Kinney) in his Nashville-based studio. Singer David Stern says of Moutenot, “He is the one producer I had ever singled out as having wanted to record with and it couldn’t have been a better experience. Roger was open to and willing to try anything that any of us wanted. On top of this, he brought certain ideas to the table that we never would of thought of, such as using toys as percussion on ‘Soft Crime.’ He really helped in turning the tracks from mere songs into successful recordings.”
Perfectly matched with The Sanctuaries, the sound that Roger seems to have honed in on for Annette really encapsulates the desperation and distance that the songs were meant to convey.
It takes time to really appreciate all of the intricacies of Annette. Moments such as the “Sleepwalk” inspired “I Saw Her Through The Campfire” give it a classic appeal, the 8-minute Neu-influenced drone of “Soft Crime” adds depth and mystery, and “Heaven Is a Mountain” and “Fooled By Youth” provide catchy melodies to immediately latch onto forever.