REVIEW: Tender Mercy – “Sacred Sphinx”

Tender Mercy
Sacred Sphinx

One of the toughest, and most under appreciated things to pull off in music is being quiet. Playing quietly requires you to be much more precise and deliberate with every note. Individual tones and intervals are thoroughly heard and taken in, so each note means a lot more. This is why the new Tender Mercy album Sacred Sphinx is so impressive.

Sacred Sphinx is a meditative trip through the mind of Mark Kramer, the single artist on the project. It’s beautifully layered with a cathedral-sounding reverb and delay when it is needed. With these effects Mark is able to make one note boom as if you are alone in the Grand Canyon.

Albums like this are rare. Mark Kramer knows when silence is more important than finding the next note. Also, barely any chords are played on the guitar through the entire album. He hits one note at a time, always making sure it’s the right one. The album uses these techniques and layers as a theme that makes the album as a whole, one piece of sonic art.

Sacred Sphinx is available to stream and buy here. I recommend checking out the limited edition Cassette; find it at one of Louisville’s record stores.