SOUND OF THE SIRENS – For All Our Sins (DMF Records)

For All Our SinsSound of the Sirens consist of Exeter-based duo Abbe Martin and Hannah Wood. Their debut album For All Our Sins is released on May 5th and will then be toured around the country.

The duo have built up a loyal fanbase with a number of EPs and live performances in venues as varied as Exeter Cathedral, the Isle of Wight Festival – and live on the Chris Evans show. The two have sung together for more than ten years and it’s easy to understand why they are so popular – voices harmonising beautifully on predominantly up tempo music. There’s a nod to Simon and Garfunkel in the duo’s band name – and there’s more than a nod in the way that their two contrasting voices harmonise together.

The new single ‘Smokescreen’ is the first track on the album and should get radio play for its liveliness and the clean acoustic guitars playing behind the voices. ‘Together Alone’ and ‘Possibilities’ would also make good singles and you can see how strong a reaction they get from an audience in the video (below) of ‘Together Alone’ on TFI Friday.

Other songs are closer to the folk tradition. Have a listen to the guitar and the interplay of voices on ‘Mr Wilson’ a hauntingly beautiful song about “The chemistry of a new relationship, unsure of where it is going, but knowing that you want more from it” or ‘Cross Our Hearts’, both of them songs which fit easily into the folk tradition of the last fifty years.

But listen also to ‘In This Time’, ‘Grow’ or even ‘The Circus’. These are songs from a very modern folk tradition (if that’s not a contradictory phrase) of a generation that has grown up with the rhythms of rap as well as the rhythms of rock and folk. Coco and the Butterfields do this as a band, Grace Petrie as a solo artist and, from the evidence of this album, Sound of the Sirens as a tremendously tight duo. But also, however good the album is, I suspect it’s probably the smaller part of what they do – what I’d really like is to see them live, part of a crowd dancing along to the music.

To tie in with the release of For All Our Sins, Sound of the Sirens will be touring across the country in May and at Festivals in the summer. Dates are on the website.

Mike Wistow

If you would like to order a copy of the one of the albums (in CD or Vinyl), download them or just listen to snippets of selected tracks (track previews are usually on the download page) then click on the Sound Of The Sirens – All Our Sins link to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website. Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

ORDER – [CD]

Artist’s website: http://www.soundofthesirens.net

‘Together Alone’ live on TGI Friday:

Sound Of The Sirens announce debut album

Sirens

There’s a certain transcendent magic that happens when two contrasting voices coalesce in perfect harmony – think The Everly Brothers, Simon & Garfunkel or George Jones and Tammy Wynette. Imperceptibly, they can raise you from the temporal to the spiritual in the breath of a song, and set you floating among the firmament infused with a sense of wonder – just like Sound Of The Sirens.

Exeter-based duo Abbe Martin and Hannah Wood dovetail beautifully on their debut album, For All Our Sins, a beguiling acoustic pop collection replete with lyrical sensibility on tracks like the first single, ‘Smokescreen’ (“Living beyond the darkness others create for us, and growing into something positive”), ‘The Circus’ (“When everyone wants something from you, who can you trust?”) and ‘Mr Wilson’ (“The chemistry of a new relationship, unsure of where it is going, but knowing that you want more from it”).

Already championed by Chris Evans – who declared himself “blown away” when he heard Sound Of The Sirens for the first time, and subsequently invited them to perform alongside U2 and Take That on TFI Friday last year – they’re certain to broaden a burgeoning fan base on the back of For All Our Sins.

It’s a fan base built up not just over several sublime EP releases – but also through their live shows, which combine a natural facility for connecting with their audiences and unforgettable performances predicated on energy, warmth, humour and, above all, real conviction.

This is true whether Sound Of The Sirens are playing the intimate environs of Exeter Cathedral, before tens of thousands at the Isle of Wight Festival or supporting Rick Astley on his UK arena tour.

“We work well together,” says Abbe, a graduate of Dartington College of Arts, who’s now a vocal coach and drama practitioner for Vocal Arts. “We have fun and a shared vision of what we want our music to do and how we want it to influence people. Music moves people and can help people overcome adversity. As performers we have a responsibility to write music that will impact and not offend. If people are listening to your voice, use it wisely.”

She and Hannah – who studied performance art at Barnstaple College – met when they worked together at the Timepiece in Exeter, the venue which gave them their debut as Sound Of The Sirens. Drawing on diverse influences, including Bob Dylan, Ed Sheeran, Joni Mitchell, KT Tunstall, The Carpenters, they write from a personal experience they feel others can relate to.

“We can also be quite inventive in our writing, using different text games to create a stimulus from which to write”, says Hannah. “We definitely put our emotion into our music and publicly vent. We often put a positive spin on the sadness that life can bring, finding strength in doing so and hopefully helping others to deal with the same issues.”

One of those issues – mental health – is the subject of ‘The Voices’.

“We’ve been moved by a mental health campaign, #itaffectsme, that’s bringing people together to be open about mental health issues. It’s also campaigning to get mental health awareness to be spoken about in primary school education to prepare the next generation. As teachers and musicians we feel this is brilliant.”

Sound Of The Sirens want to both enlighten and entertain, and they want to do it with euphony. For All Our Sins accomplishes all of the above. For All Our Sins will be released on DMF Records and available on CD, vinyl and digital.

If you would like to order a copy of the one of the albums (in CD or Vinyl), download them or just listen to snippets of selected tracks (track previews are usually on the download page) then click on the Sound Of The Sirens – All Our Sins link to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website. Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

ORDER – [CD]

Artists’ website: www.soundofthesirens.net

‘Smokescreen’ – official video: