MYLES SANKO; Memories Of Love (Legere)

‘Memories Of Love’ is Myles Sanko’s fourth album, and it seems we’ve been waiting for it for some time. It was way back last September when the Ghana-born but UK-based singer/songwriter released the set’s first single as a taster. It was a catchy ‘Freedom Is You’ which was soon followed by the insistent ‘Rainbow In Your Cloud’. Then in January we enjoyed a third single… a wonderful six minute plus, building ‘Streams Of Time’.

Those three cuts still sound good alongside the LP’s seven other tracks. Indeed, ‘Streams Of Time’ is without doubt the album’s standout. A gentle ballad (at the start, at least) it highlights the warmth and beauty of Sanko’s voice and the singer himself sees the song as the album focus: “This song is about not wasting time and letting the important people in your life know that you love them very much. I feel I go through life so focussed on my goals that I forget to enjoy the here and now with the people I love. So, before my time comes to an end, I’d like to make peace with everyone I hold dear.

Myles admits that ‘Streams Of Time’ is a deeply personal song and adds that the whole album is his most personal career statement yet. For instance, the opener, ‘Where Do We Stand’ is about the singer’s relationship with his father. His father was a fisherman – absent from home for long periods and the edgy sonic structure of the song and the semi-spoken vocal echo the tensions that were in the relationship. The jazzy ‘Whatever You Are’ is advice to his son while ‘Broken’ is dedicated to his wife and speaks to the endurance of love through all the ups and owns that life throws at relationships. Myles is clearly loved up. ‘In The Morning’ is another tribute to Mrs. S. He says the song is about enjoying the awe of her endless beauty… ah, sweet. It’s a lovely, lithe ballad which picks up pace.

The most poignant ballad is the stark ‘Never My Friend’. Apparently, it’s a reflection on the singer’s younger days. He embarked on countless relationships, but “love was never his friend” – till, of course, he found his wife (see above!)

The album ends with another personal insight… ‘Blackbird Sing’ (just out as a single, by the way). Myles says that the song of the blackbird always brings back happy memories and fills him with optimism even on cold winter days. We could all do with more of that right now (winter days, pandemic, whatever!) and sonically and lyrically we know that this collection won’t solve all our problems, but it does offers plenty of hope, optimism and enjoyment in equal doses.

‘Memories Of Love’ is officially released on March 12th.

(BB) 4/5