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Sound of the Sirens - This Time (DMF Records)

Star rating: 
4

Sound Of The Sirens, Abbe Martin and Hannah Wood are a West Country folk duo. This is worth stating at the start, as there are points during THIS TIME, their second album, where you'd swear blind there was loads of them, rather than two fine vocalists with  guitars, mandolins, a Piano and some percussion. Awakening establishes the core Sound Of The Sirens' sound, percussive strummed guitars and two voices, sometimes harmonising, sometimes counterpoint. Abby and Hannah harmonise well, but when they sing different parts it is hairs on the back of the neck time, like a West Country Indigo Girls. Believe grabs your attention with its tempo and the hand claps and a capella vocal intro. There is a touch of the early acoustic KT Tunstall about the track and some great guitar and mandolin playing. Another Day uses the duos two vocals, one low one higher to great effect, alongside superb affirming lyrics and another fine counterpoint. All The Webs makes great use of a eerie chorus vocal distorted by a megaphone, contrasting the spare percussion and the duo’s captivating verse vocal. The whole effect is stunning.

The ballads All We Need and Through The Night, with a slow piano and beautiful use of space around the melody and the vocals, are a stripped back contrast. These  build slowly and to great effect with a choir like quality to Through The Night. That heavenly choir continues on Keeping Us Alive. Opening with a capella vocals, it builds with a frantically strummed guitar and some thoughtful lyrics. The voices on Lie Awake reminded me of the power and passion of Australian trio The Waifs. Stunning chorus and a great audience participation opportunity when I saw them earlier this year. Everytime is a perfect make up song, with great emotion and tension in the vocals, a, perfect closer on a fine album from a duo that deserve more attention. 

Marc Higgins 
Northern Sky