Today’s Song: Sunflower Thieves’ Cozy “Sirens” & the Warm Glow of Friendship

Sunflower Thieves © Sophie Jouvenaar
Sunflower Thieves © Sophie Jouvenaar
A beautiful ode to friendship and connection, Sunflower Thieves’ heartfelt new song “Sirens” swells with loving warmth and rich, spellbinding harmony.
for fans of First Aid Kit, The Staves, Joseph

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Stream: “Sirens” – Sunflower Thieves




How did you know that I needed someone to be there?” Sunflower Thieves sweetly sing in their new single, reaching for an outstretched hand while offering a helping hand of their own: “How did you know that I needed someone to be there for?” A beautiful ode to friendship and connection, the duo’s heartfelt new song “Sirens” swells with loving warmth and rich, spellbinding harmony.

Sirens - Sunflower Thieves
Sirens – Sunflower Thieves
Sit at the window
Watch nothing go by
Hear your voice so far away
on the other end of the line

Counting all the times you said to me
We’ll be alright
I could write them down and pin them up
At my bedside

Independently released November 17, 2021 via Imprint Music, “Sirens” arrives as Sunflower Thieves’ fifth overall single and the group’s second release of the year. The pop-folk duo of longtime friends, vocalists, and multi-instrumentalists Amy Illingworth and Lily Sturt-Bolshaw, Sunflower Thieves have slowly emerged in recent years as one of Leeds, UK’s most subdued, yet stunning new musical exports.

Self-describing as a “strong soulful sisterhood nurturing a unique sound,” Sunflower Thieves come to life through wondrous, ethereal vocal harmonies, intimate, vulnerable lyricism, and instrumentation that simultaneously soothes and dazzles. Their releases since 2018’s “Two Halves” have been admittedly sparse, but what they lack in catalog size, they make up for in sheer impact: Each of Sunflower Thieves’ five songs seems to fill the airspace with wonder and light, captivating as Illingworth and Sturt-Bolshaw come together to weave an immersive, intensely visceral experience.

Sunflower Thieves © Sophie Jouvenaar
Sunflower Thieves © Sophie Jouvenaar



When you feel disconnected [or] overwhelmed, tuning into a relationship with someone who needs you can make all the difference – having someone to be there for…

Following this past February’s radiantly dramatic unveiling “Don’t Mind the Weather,” “Sirens” finds Sunflower Thieves filling their world with empathy, love, and warmth: A knowing glow to combat the creeping darkness. Together with friends/musicians Tom and Sam (no last names attributed), they rise in an enchanting and heartwarming chorus, their delicate, colorful vocal harmonies recalling such acclaimed artists as The Staves, First Aid Kit, and Joseph:

Spinning around like sirens
The people
But all that I hear is silence
You pull me through and talk to me
How did you know that I
Needed someone to be
There how you know that I
Need someone to be there for

As Sunflower Thieves explain, this song captures how special, important, and meaningful our closest relationships really are.

“‘Sirens’ is a song about friendship, inspired by particular people,” Illingworth and Sturt-Bolshaw tell Atwood Magazine. “When things feel overwhelming, tuning into a relationship or friendship with someone who needs you can keep you [feel] grounded, and keep you both moving forwards.”

“The song depicts the beauty and necessity of good friendship and how valuable being needed can be when you feel lost and sort of directionless. The original verse was inspired by a particular friend who was there, from a distance, on the end of the phone, during a tough personal time for Amy. However, when this kind of friend also starts feeling low, it sparks something in you to be there for them, [to] repay them, and [it] gives you a little hope that things aren’t so lonely or lost after all.”

Sit at the window
Flashing our lights
Maybe we’re still far away
but we know we’re safe in the night

Wide awake and dreaming of the day
We’ll be alright
Sunflower Thieves © Sophie Jouvenaar
Sunflower Thieves © Sophie Jouvenaar



We feel we managed to recreate in this final version the vulnerable, honest feeling we had in the room when writing ‘Sirens.’

For a band that proudly boasts “16 years of friendship,” “Sirens” seems like it could be Sunflower Thieves’ rallying cry; it’s certainly one of their most memorably performances, engulfing the ears and heart with resounding passion and light. Poignant and powerful, “Sirens” is also the lead single off the Leeds band’s forthcoming debut EP, the aptly-titled Someone To Be There For (set for 2022 release), which takes its name from the song’s chorus.

“Writing ‘Sirens’ was a special moment for all of us involved I think,” Amy Illingworth says, hence the ‘someone to be there for’ lyric becoming the EP title. It really captures how we all felt at the time and how strong we feel when we’re together. I had written a verse and wanted Lily, [our bandmates] Tom and Sam to help me finish what I wanted to say. This was an approach that had worked well before and because we’re all such good friends, finding the right way to say how we feel, feels like a natural process in a session. We had a long Zoom session and came away with an additional pre and chorus, but later decided the chorus was no good – it didn’t capture the feeling just right.”

“‘Sirens’ would not be the song it is without Sam and Tom’s contributions, and so it was very important that their vocals and guitar parts were woven into the textures of this track. For us, having the four vocals, and them being such special people to us, create that sonic warm hug, reassuring feeling, uplifting ‘I’ll be there for you’ that the song talks about. We feel we managed to recreate in this final version the vulnerable, honest feeling we had in the room when writing ‘Sirens.’ We hope people take that from the production and arrangement, and also the videos that come with the song.”

Stay tuned for more coming soon from this special duo, and for now let the vibrant emotion of “Sirens” wash over you: Healing and honest, music this pure will cleanse your soul.

How did you know that I
Needed someone to be
There how you know that I
Need someone to be there for
Spinning round this crowd full of sirens
But I’m alone and hearing nothing but silence
So won’t you fill the walls with the thoughts in your mind
I need someone here to talk to about all this time
That we’re spending

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Stream: “Sirens” – Sunflower Thieves



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Sirens - Sunflower Thieves

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📸 © Sophie Jouvenaar
art © Adam Illingworth


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