For three minutes flat, "Sanctuary" gently lifts you out of reality and envelopes you in a zero-gravity space. The single, released via 88rising, is a new turn for Japanese-American singer songwriter Joji
In this track, Joji offers a mix of R&B and intergalactic glowy pop sounds. He chimes the words "I am your escape," and we can not deny that notion. This song, in itself, is an escape from reality through its otherworldly soundscapes. The chorus features layered high in the register vocals, and throughout the track, Joji's voice weaves in and out of flashing beats that chop and rise. There are prickling sounds that twist and dive throughout the song. The last few seconds of "Sanctuary" beat with undulating metallic sounds that scrape into a departing echo.
"… Hold me oh-so-close, 'cause you never know just how long our lives will be…"
Joji has a way of reflecting very specific emotions in his songs. With past music, listeners' minds could easily transcend into a state one feels during a late night car ride, or perhaps the feeling of sulking in the corner of a crowded party at 2am with a pounding headache and slurred vision. His music seems very intentional, and with "Sanctuary," you are lifted into a space that feels removed from his past songs. The track can set you in a state that is present, lighter, and happier - it's a pleasant contrast. I can't help but wonder if we are gearing up for new music from a more optimistic Joji.
You can listen to his latest track below:
In the "Sanctuary" video, Joji is the hero of the universe, but after saving the galaxy he finds himself serving no more purpose in life. The video explores Joji's next step in finding meaning while he also struggles with holding onto the past. You can watch the retro-inspired space drama below:
"Sanctuary" is Joji's first track since the release of his 2018 melancholic debut album BALLADS 1. You can read our five immediate takeaways from the project here.