Each successive CD release from Sacha Sacket has marked a dramatic chapter in his artistry. From his debut, Alabaster Flesh, through ShadowedLovers and Leaders and Live At The Zone, what remains constant is Sacket's ability to move beyond his comfort zone and surpass creative expectations.

Hermitage is a vital link in this narrative. As the title suggests, after frenetic phases of recording and touring, Sacket disappeared into the Southern California mountains. "It was snowing. There was a dirt path to a cabin. I had to chop wood to stay warm," he says. For the singer/songwriter, raised in the suburbs, the wilderness offered space for reflection and renewal. "When you are on your own and haven't seen anyone for more than a week, strange things rise to the surface," says Sacket. "In some cases, issues you didn't even know were there. You think about your life completely differently." This experience brought forth the five extraordinary songs of Hermitage.

Sacha returned to the cabin to record, bringing a producer/engineer for the duration, and inviting a roster of musicians into the mountains to add to the tracks, which were then completed in Los Angeles. Sacket generally preferred his first take vocals, which invests Hermitage with an intense emotional immediacy. Lifted by the thunder of drums and the edges of a cello, the sound is rish, orchestral and epic, with Sacha's impassioned vocals alternately intimate and bravura.

The theme of the song suite is introduced on the opening track, "Running Away," and its prophetic lines "Deep within their astral plane / You can see the light again." "Used" is ushered in with obsessive bells, as anger echoes in the refrain and turns inward with the line, "But you know it's your fault / Begging for what you want," an incendiary electric guitar fanning the flames of self-recrimination. The vulnerable, open veined "You Could" begins with an expression of doubt before segueing a litany of hope, as the songwriter blurs the lines between love, life and art with his words, "Got to rise about the precious stuff / Gotta just say what I mean."

"Hold On" is a mantra to the future, "You can hate it / But you can't erase the stretch of time." Clarifies Sacket, "My music isn't there for me to sit and listen to. As an artist, my process is making it and going through that cahtarsis. I could easily recreate the same situation every time, but I like to go where I'm not comfortable."

In keeping with that philosophy, upon the completion of Hermitage, Sacha traveled solo to Russia for two weeks. In the land of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, his vision became even more significant. "I already had the title, but when I went to the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg it made even more sense. It is a palace the size of the Louvre -- that Catherine the Great had constructed so that she could spend time alone. The idea encapsulated the album for me. This grand, opulent palace for solitude and reflection."

Etched in eerie falsetto and sonorous cello, Hermitage's conclusion, "The River," distills a complex theme into an effortless couplet: "You can't win if you can't swim." Sacha Sacket survived the currents by moving to higher ground. Hermitage is a postcard from a remote outpost, a missive to anyone who feels overwhelmed by the relentless demand to fulfill others' needs. The message is simple: the truth exists within; we need only the solitude to hear it. "Sometimes you haev to shut the world off to find out who you really are," says Sacha. Hermitage reveals the answer.

All original material © 2007-2010 Sacha Sacket Source. All other material property of their respective owners.