Sweet Gum Tree – Sustain the Illusion

Album Review | The Orchard/Plastic Head | Review by Liam Wilkinson | Stars: 3/5

With Sustain the Illusion, songwriter Arno Sojo, better known as Sweet Gum Tree, returns with another set of dreamy works of lyrical allure – his fifth release since 2010’s The Vulnerable Almighty and his long-awaited follow up to 2014’s superb The Snakes You Charm and the Wolves You Tame. Produced by Ireland’s David Odlum (Glen Hansard, Gemma Hayes) this new release finds the French troubadour in fine poetic form with arresting lines such as “no need to burn your icons they will self-ignite / On starless nights, when heroes go down in flames” on the bass-led “Burn Your Icons” and “Kid brother, how can I ever forget the way your held me tight / Our freckled faces under snowflaked suburban skies” on the melancholic “Clean Slate”. Mixing electronica with a vocal performance to rival, though clearly inspired by the likes of Mark King and Nik Kershaw, Sustain the Illusion presents another thoughtful yet highly accessible collection of Sojo’s unique songs.