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

Artist’s website:

‘Together Alone’ live on TGI Friday:

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