Release Date: 25th January 2019
I have a headache. I should be clear that this headache is not as a result of listening to the new album by Sound of the Sirens but, in fact, I have chosen to listen to their music as a way of combating the tension running up the back of my neck. For the uninitiated, Devon duo Sound of the Sirens have a purity of sound that could tame even the most savage of beasts and so they are one of my go to acts in this kind of situation. Don’t be fooled, however, these ladies know how to kick up a storm too so don’t go expecting this to be a Norah Jones or Katie Melua snooze-fest. Oh no siree.
‘This Time’ is the pair’s second album and one that heralds their transition from up-and-coming starlets to firmly established act on the mid-range UK gig circuit. The album opens with ‘Awakening’ and the line “Don’t look at me like that, you know I will react” – see, nothing dull here. The trademark vocal harmonies are here but the driving acoustic riff is more direct and urgent than some of their previous work. ‘Believe’ maintains the high energy of the opening track and brings in the kind of sing-a-long vocal melody that will work at the regularly packed gigs and festival tents. Already a theme of power, defiance and growth is emerging from this album and it is the perfect for the theme for the times we live in.
The tempo drops on ‘Another Day’ and the soothing energies of the twin harmonies of Hannah and Abbe are here for all to enjoy and benefit from – this stuff should be on the NHS, while we still have the NHS that is. On ‘Troubles’ there’s an element of nostalgia and looking back on a time that is getting left behind while recent single ‘The Yellow Road’ has a great groove that provides the perfect platform for some vocal gymnastics that show of the not inconsiderable talents. ‘All The Webs’ sees the pair experiment with some vocal effects before ‘All We Need’ sees some piano intermingle with the guitar notes and a sad, remorseful vocal that you just want to wrap yourself up in.
|Sound of the Sirens|
This album is an epic 15 tracks long but if you’re not counting then the tunes just wash over you like soft, warm waves nibbling at your toes. ‘Through the Night’ ripples over a shingly beach, washing away the troubles of your day with vocals bubbling up from the empty cavities of long abandoned shells; “I cannot be sad for the life that we had, I cannot be scared for the life we will share”. The energy initially shifts abruptly on ‘Have it All’ before settling in to an uplifting chorus that captures your attention and your imagination in equal measure. The harmonies that set these two apart from the crowd are front and centre on ‘Keeping Us Alive’; a song that would stand up proud on any First Aid Kit or Wildwood Kin album such is its purity and beauty.
There is an almost religious feel to the layers of vocals that herald the beginning of ‘The Order’ while ‘Lie Awake’ has a more folky vibe that puts me in mind of the Indigo Girls (FYI – this is no bad thing). In the final straight of the album, ‘Count Our Luck’ shows a sense of urgency and of time running out before ‘Four O’Clock’ breaks out the Mandolin for an extra dimension of indie-folk. The closing track of the album is ‘Every Time’ which finds the duo in gently reflective mood and as the tempo builds you get the feeling that they are definitely going out on a high with one of the strongest tracks of this collection. The great thing about this album is that if you’re a long-term fan of Sound of the Sirens then you won’t be disappointed but, equally, if you’re new to the talented duo you will find so much to fall in love with here. It’s win-win.
25th January – Palace Theatre, Paignton
26th January – Phoenix, Exeter
27th January – The Railway Inn, Winchester
28th January – St Pancras Old Church, London
29th January – The Adelphi, Hull
31st January – The Stables, Milton Keynes
14th February – Komedia, Bath
15th February – Mill Hill Chapel, Leeds
16th February – Love Folk Festival, Southport
17th February – The Bullingdon, Oxford
14th March – St Anne’s Arts & Community Centre, Barnstaple
15th March – George Hotel, South Molton
16th March – The Plough Arts Centre, Great Torrington
21st March – Three Wise Monkeys, Colchester
22nd March – The Cluny 2, Newcastle Upon Tyne
23rd March – The Hug and Pint, Glasgow
28th March – Band on the Wall, Manchester
29th March – Town and Country Club, Rugby
30th March – Storyhouse Theatre, Chester
5th April – White Rock Theatre, Hastings
6th April – Esquires, Bedford