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With its otherworldly melodies and mesmerizing textures, the music of Siren Sea transports and transforms. In creating their latest collection of songs, the Dallas-bred, Orlando-based two-piece journeyed through Paris, London, Berlin, and Stockholm, recording in Warsaw and in the seaside Swedish city of Kalmar. The result: Paradise, a five-track EP that reveals Siren Sea’s sophisticated grace in crafting soulfully moody noir-pop through exploration of all kinds.
The follow-up to Siren Sea’s 2013 debut Papier Mâché, Paradise finds singer/songwriter Reema Hamdan and guitarist Niklas Schönbeck delving into genres like psychedelia, alt-pop, electronic, and art rock to dream up a singular sound that’s delicate yet captivating, darkly charged but luminous. Throughout the self-produced EP (made partly in collaboration with Swedish producers Joakim Buddee and Linnea Atieno), Siren Sea match that musically adventurous spirit with a penchant for plumbing the depths of the psyche to conjure up powerfully affecting lyrics.
“There’s a theme of self-discovery throughout these songs—they never really point outward; they’re much more my quiet introspection coming forward,” says Hamdan. “We wanted to create music you can just close your eyes and feel. They come from such a raw place, and we wanted that raw emotion to translate into the songs.” On songs like “Breathe” (a stark and haunting slow-burner built on Hamdan’s gorgeously stirring vocals) and the EP’s title track (a lushly hypnotic number that blends sparse beats and smoldering guitar work), Hamdan uses her poetic sensibility and finely detailed imagery to capture potent feelings of heartache and isolation. Affirming the boundlessness of Siren Sea’s creativity, Paradise also delivers songs like “Wait,” a stripped-back and string-accented track that weaves its lilting folk melodies around lyrics that came to Hamdan in her sleep. “I was dreaming I was onstage in Dallas, and I kneeled down and began singing the song. I even saw sheets of paper with the lyrics all written out,” she recalls. “I woke up and told Nik to grab his guitar and luckily we somehow got it all down before it disappeared into the ether.”
Forming Siren Sea in 2012, Hamdan (an Orlando native who began singing professionally in her teens) and Schönbeck (a Sweden-born musician with an extensive background as a session guitarist) first crossed paths through the local music scene in Dallas. “I was singing in recording sessions for other songwriters for a time, but eventually I realized I was longing to write my own material,” says Hamdan. “I ran into Nik and loved how he created this beautiful texture with his guitar work, so I asked if he wanted to compose with me, and the whole project was spawned from there.” Choosing the name Siren Sea as a nod to their love of ocean-inspired reverb and delay and wave-like rhythm, the duo self-released Papier Mâché in autumn 2013 after relocating to Europe for some soul-searching and creative expansion.
When performing live, Siren Sea present a carefully crafted stage show with timed projector images, allowing each listener to ease into another world. “I wanted our live shows to be less about us as people, and simply about the emotions and the moments,” says Hamdan. “I wanted the audience to forget we existed, and just to find themselves in a lush sea of colors and sounds.”
In the making of Paradise, Siren Sea augmented their inventiveness and completely overhauled their songwriting process. “With the first EP, I was mostly putting my melodies and lyrics to Nik’s ideas,” says Hamdan. “But for this one, I sat down and scribbled out the songs floating in my head, and then gave them all to Nik to write and build around.” Within that revamped approach, Siren Sea achieved a new level of unfettered honesty that ultimately enhances each song’s power of connection. “It always amazes me that there are billions of people in the world, and yet at times we can still all manage to feel so alone,” Hamdan notes. “It’s so beautiful when you’re able to find these raw and genuine moments of human-to-human connection, especially when you’re connecting over something that’s such a deep part of who you are.”
Vatten inspirerar oss. Vänligt glitter. Djup och bränningar. Mystik och realism. Allt det, som gör musik värd att lyssna på.
Projekt Siren Sea startades i USA men har musikaliska anknytningar till Sverige.
Musiken är skriven av Reema och Niklas Schönbeck och karakteriseras av melodiska och explorativa inslag med influenser från världens alla hörn.