All We Have is Time TitleWe had a sneak preview of this one a few weeks ago when we reviewed the lead track, “The Confession”, as a single, but this time around it’s the full four track EP with additional songs “All for the Best”, “The Fear” and “Together Alone”. Previous Sound of the Sirens work has focussed on two voice/two guitar/stompbox arrangements that can be recreated live as a duo, but “All We Have is Time” features upright bass, violin and a little bit of piano, which add a few more colours to the palette. Lyrically, there are a few familiar themes, including breaking or broken relationships and encouragement to fulfil our personal potential, but it’s fair to say that “All We Have is Time” is a step forward into new territory.

We reviewed the stomping, violin-driven “The Confession” a few weeks ago, so I’ll skip over that and start with “All for the Best”. Violin and piano dominate the intro, creating, with vocal harmonies, a very traditional, folky sound which ebbs and flows to illustrate the theme of a relationship which was once beautiful but has run its course. “The Fear” is where the introduction of violin and upright bass has the greatest impact, combining with a very catchy vocal hook to create an uptempo Eastern European feel as the lyrics delve into the attempt to create the perfect physical and spiritual union. Several key changes towards the end of the song ratchet up the tension before the resolution comes in the final phrase, ‘Go all the way’. The final song, “Together Alone” is already a live favourite and it’s easy to see why. The song demonstrates the assured use of dynamics with changes in volume and tempo, and finishes with a show-stopping a cappella ending. Add that to a lyrical message that we should all try to transcend our limitations and you’ve got yourself an anthem.

When you listen to Sound of the Sirens, you hear two voices which work really well together (they do homophony and counterpoint beautifully); they have a tremendous understanding of the construction of songs and live performance, but they also write lyrics which reference the darker themes found in folk music and stories. “All We Have is Time” is a pretty good introduction to the Sound of the Sirens, but you should do two things: listen to their album “A Long Way to Fall” and make an effort to see them play live. You can do the first one any time and their next live appearance will be at Chris Evans’ Carfest this weekend. We’ll keep you posted.


The Confession TitleIt’s June, the sun’s shining and we could all do with some good news, couldn’t we? Well, how about this? Riot Squad favourites Sound of the Sirens have only gone and got themselves on the bill at Glastonbury this year, so high fives all round for that, but it gets even better. They have a new EP out on July 20th and a single from the EP released on July 3rd. Apparently, they’ve even persuaded online retailer ASOS to support their Glastonbury appearance, so it’s all going off at the moment. So, what about this single then?

“The Confession” is a great choice as a lead track; if you haven’t heard Abbe Martin and Hannah Wood before, this is a pretty good introduction to their work because it displays most of the elements that make their live and recorded performances so beguiling and spellbinding. Abbe and Hannah’s voices blend perfectly whether they’re creating perfect harmonies or quickfire call and response passages and they create a huge dynamic range from two guitars, two voices and a couple of stomp boxes (plus a little bit of violin on this song); and that’s before you even start to think about the lyrics.

Sound of the Sirens songs, in true folk tradition, often have a dark, mystical narrative but “The Confession” does more than tell a twilight story; there’s a genuine poetry to the lines: ‘And I am reaching, breaking mirrors in the sky, pulling starlight out of the corners of your eyes’ that’s truly beautiful. “The Confession” is yet another twenty-first acoustic anthem from Sound of the Sirens; it’s three and a half minutes of perfection.

The single is released on July 3 followed by the EP on July 20. If you can’t wait that long why not have a look at this excellent live video to see what all the fuss is about: