What do Simon and Garfunkel have in common with En Vogue, the all female group from the early 1990’s? Well, they were two of the artists cited as musical influences by British female duo The Sound of the Sirens when I interviewed them recently. At first glance, it’s difficult to see the similarity between En Vogue and Exeter based Sirens, aka Abbe and Hannah, whose sound is more acoustic pop than R&B, but it’s the harmonies that inspire, along with Destiny’s Child and the aforementioned Simon and Garfunkel.
It seems that Abbe and Hannah’s musical influences are multi layered and eclectic; song writing inspirations are Oasis, Mumford and Sons, Nirvana and Coldplay amongst others. Listening to the Sirens debut album, For All Our Sins, these song writing influences are immediately apparent: the influence of Mumford and Sons is easily detected and Abbe and Hannah cite them as their major influence. The writing process takes place both together and alone and is aided by lots of dog walking! Abbe and Hannah each have a dog (Maggie and Taio) and like to listen to songs recorded on their phones whilst out walking – sounds idyllic, doesn’t it?
For All Our Sins is an album that delivers upbeat, sweet melodies that beguile you, whilst at the same time, sharp lyrics speak to us of strong emotions, the sadness that life can bring and finding strength and positivity to get through. Abbe and Hannah hope that by doing this, they can “help others to deal with the same issues”. Chaos and Together Alone are my favourite tracks, along with their first single, Smokescreen:
It’s when listening to the lyrics and the overall sound that you hear the influence of all the other female singers and songwriters that have gone before. The likes of Pink, Alanis Morrissette, Laura Marling and even Gloria Estefan further influenced the Sirens. Going back to En Vogue and Destiny’s Child, it’s easy to see that it’s not only the harmonies that inspire, but also the women themselves – after all, there are still relatively few all female groups making music successfully.
As with all independent musicians, I was interested to find out why Abbe and Hannah chose to go the indie route and it turns out that Sirens are a perfect match with DMF Records as they are both Exeter based and both Abbe and Hannah said that working with them was “just like family. We can pop in for a cuppa and chat, it’s great”. As for the future, the Sirens will continue to frequently play live and hope to record another album in the next year or so – they already have some new material written.
Lastly, the title of this piece is Sins of Sound of the Sirens and you might ask what sins? I concur, Abbe and Hannah are far too lovely to have many sins. The title of the album comes from the lyrics of Cross Our Hearts and was chosen by the duo’s brothers – and they like it as “it can mean anything”!
For All Our Sins is available here:
thanks for reading – please share!