Sirens feels enchanting just on the first listen, but that’s the signature sound that the Weepies, wife and husband musical duo, Deb Talan and Steve Tannen, have created throughout their years of collaboration. If you enjoy warbled, poignant lyrics and simple chord progressions, they do the job astoundingly well.
Boasting sixteen tracks, Talan and Tannen’s fifth album offers more than the usual pleasant melodies and harmonies that come with folk rock. It was written and recorded during Deb’s fight with stage-three breast cancer; so naturally, each song delivers an intimate, and emotionally charged feel.
Sirens kicks off with “River from the Sky”, instantly drawing in listeners with their unique vocals and guitar strumming. The song itself is a mixture of contradicting elements – droning voices and an almost upbeat-yet-relaxing accompaniment that forces you to truly listen to what they’re saying. It sets an electric, exciting tone that hints at a dynamic and promising album. “No Trouble,” with its heavy percussion and repetition of the frank lyric, “Don’t need no trouble, but sometimes trouble needs me,” adds an edge to The Weepies’ sound. The third track on the album, “Sirens,” is a wonderful example of their beautifully crafted lyrics. Paired with a quiet piano and guitar in the backdrop, Deb croons, “I hear their voices, sirens singing in the street. I thought they might be calling out for you, for me.” Although it may have been unintentional, Deb herself sounds like a siren with the alluring lilt of her voice.
Listen: “Sirens” – The Weepies
More morose tracks like “Ever Said Goodbye” and “Fancy Things” display the husky quality and honesty behind Steve’s vocal delivery. It’s this particular aspect that creates a personable feel to The Weepies’ music. The lack of bells and whistles work to their favor because their immense musical talent is enough to carry them through an entire album without such ‘fancy things’. Relying on acoustics and the barest of instrumentations, Deb and Steve succeed in showcasing their signature, independent sound.
If anyone were to ask me my opinion of Sirens, I would deem it an easy and well worth listen. Filled to the brim with lyrical gems, this record hits close to home with its brutal emotional truths that leave you pondering the meaning of life. The sentiments of the album are tangible enough to feel as though The Weepies are personally handing their hearts to you, creating a rare and powerful connection between the artist and the audience. This is exactly what sets Sirens apart from the rest.
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