I love discovering a new local band, however rare such an occasion may be. Naturally, I was particularly excited to learn of ‘Sound of The Sirens’, a female acoustic folk/rock duo originating from within an hours drive of myself. Little did I know when I first clicked through to their Sound Cloud page that their debut album, ‘A Long Way to Fall’, would quickly become one of my favourite albums of the 2015 thus far, and indeed one of my favourite albums of all time. But that’s another review.
Today we’re going to check out their recently released 4-track EP ‘All We Have is Time’. Released on 20 July 2015 (a mere 3 days prior to this writing,) the EP features 4 tracks, including ‘The Confession’, ‘All For The Best’, ‘The Fear’ and ‘Together Alone’.
Having heard the Siren’s previous material, I was immediately struck by a slight alteration to their sound. Though I must confess to being more familiar with their 2013 Debut ‘A Long Way to Fall’ than their 2014 EP ‘Under The Stars’ which I have yet to get acquainted with, as I sat down and pressed play I was blissfully unaware of the musical treat that would follow.
When the disc spun up, I was greeted with the first track – ‘The Confession’ – an upbeat number featuring not only the SIren’s usual guitar, drum and tambourine arrangement, but also a layer of violins. Indeed, as we moved onto tracks 2, 3 and 4 the layers, if anything, became more complex – introducing a bass guitar and even a piano into the mix (which I initially thought to be a banjo, such is the way it is recorded).
In this era of computer-generated electronic music, it’s refreshing to hear real music by real people into which a lot of time, effort and refinement has clearly been made. During ‘The Fear’ I counted 3 key changes – and during ‘forever alone’ 4 changes in tempo were easily discernible yet all added to the mood of their respective tracks. Not many artists could pull that off.
The vocals are flawless, as are the lyrics. perhaps it’s because I simply get so lost in their musical arrangements, or perhaps it’s due to the lyrical metaphors – but I can never pinpoint exactly what the duo (Abbe Martin and Hannah Wood) are singing about. This is far from a bad thing – in fact, I think it makes the music more powerful and relatable as the lyrics are open for user interpretation.
The lyrics that struck me the most were those of the track ‘Together Alone’. Despite the difference in title, judging by the lyric this appears to be the EPs title track. To me, it’s conveying the message that life is short, and that whatever your goal, whatever your dream, now is the time to act. To go out into the world, and go above and beyond to make your dream a reality, for time is not unlimited and one can never predict what’s in store from 1 day to the next. It’s an extremely powerful, emotional, yet somehow uplifting track and the perfect track on which to end the EP.
The EP is available as a digital download or in CD form from the Sound of The Sirens website. I applaud the girls for continuing to make their material available in physical form – as someone who dislikes the digital download format, it’s nice to be able to own a physical product. Their pricing is also more than reasonable, the physical CD coming in at £6 (including P and P), and the digital version coming in at £3.96 from Amazon UK.
In closing, this is a special review for a couple of reasons. Firstly, All We Have is Time is simply phenomenal. This EP deserves a place in every music collection, it really is that good. In fact it was so good, that it’s become the first of hopefully many music reviews to come here on Audio Appraisal. And with that – happy listening. Until next time…