Sugaar Pan - Hug a Tree and Burn the Forest
Released: November 2
Being a multi-instrumentalist composer, Iker Garmendia (better known as Sugaar Pan) integrates an extremely wide variety of tools and techniques into his newest album about the impending environmental crises that the Earth is currently experiencing and will be experiencing in the near future. This situation is contextualized in the divide between the individual person and the collective environment in a bit of an ironic way with the title Hug a Tree and Burn the Forest, a seemingly tongue in cheeck reference to the way in which people profess their love of nature individually while collectively trashing it.
The album contains a multitude of different instruments - everything from the familiar guitars that Garmendia typically uses to djembes, framedrums, flutes, and even a bit of throat singing. These varied pieces are masterfully tied together in spiritually-ripe sounding compositions such the slower and more pensive "The Isolationist" to the more morose and mournful sound of the titular "Burn the Forest." Throughout the runtime, there is less of a distinct narrative and more of a symbolic motif - we aren't neccessarily being told a concrete story, but something more like a fuzzy emblem that serves as a premonition. Despite the heaviness of the subject, it never becomes sad or depressing. Rather it maintains a certain hope in its tone that assures the Earth will survive even if we do not.