Today Irish electro-folk duo Saint Sister release their debut album ‘Shape of Silence’. The album is inspired by the connections between people, and the conversations borne from figuring yourself out in relation to another person.
Of the album, Saint Sister say:-
“This record is the culmination of the past 4 years of making music together and navigating our 20s in Dublin. ‘Shape of Silence’ comes from an interest in the power and weight of silence - how heavy it can feel. It is a nod towards the use of space in our music; what can be said and felt in between the gaps.”
Saint Sister’s debut brilliantly presents their ability to create a unique blend of electronic, folk and pop. Exploration of the capabilities of the Irish harp - experimenting with effects and loops pedals and blending with subtle electronica - opened up the pathway to the sonic palette of this record. It opens with ‘The Beginning’; an elegant and ethereal track that celebrates the freedom and conspiratorial magic of a brand-new relationship (which we follow over the arc of the record). Next is ‘Twin Peaks’, a soundscape of luscious vocals and glistening Wurlizter, showcasing the bands skill in crafting relatable and honest lyrics. The start of the album feels more whimsical, optimistic and inquisitive but that atmosphere starts to change, and the songs begin to fracture becoming a little darker; more self-aware and lonelier while the relationship, which began with all the hope and promise of something new, becomes undone.
Tracks like ‘You Never Call’ and ‘Causing Trouble’ touch on themes of nostalgia and longing. The band embrace their Celtic roots with the stripped-back ‘Tir Eile’, meaning ‘Other Land’ in Irish, which powerfully displays their incredibly haunting vocals. ‘Steady’, one of their more electronically-influenced tracks sets extracts from author Kevin Breathnach’s ‘Tunnel Vision’ against a trip-hop infused breakbeat. The last track on the record, ‘The Mater’, offers a searing account of the pain and self-realisation that comes at the end of a relationship and the final act of self-isolation.
‘Shape of Silence’ was recorded with long term co-producer Alex Ryan of Hozier. Of the collaboration, the band says:
“We found a really good energy between the three of us, and over the course of the last three years have started trusting each other’s instincts a lot more and getting comfortable pushing the boundaries.”
‘Shape of Silence’ follows Saint Sister’s well-received debut EP ‘Madrid’, released in 2015. Title track ‘Madrid’ reached over 2 million streams and was playlisted through ‘Introducing’ on BBC Radio 1. The EP drew the attention of Lisa Hannigan who invited the band to open for her on the 20 date ‘At Swim’ European tour.
Saint Sister is Gemma Doherty and Morgan MacIntyre, hailing from the North of Ireland (Derry and Belfast respectively). The timing of their collaboration was key; having met in Dublin just after graduating from college, it became clear very early on that they were looking for the same thing. Bonding over their shared journey from north to south and a passion for music and words, teamed with the post-college confusion, they channelled all of their energy into the makings of a band.
To date, Saint Sister have amassed over 6 million streams combined.
Saint Sister are currently on tour around the US, Europe, Australia and UK. The band will be supporting Hozier on a number of his European tour dates included below:
Wednesday 21st November – Gasometer – Vienna, AT
Friday 23rd November – Verti Music Hall, Berlin, DE
Sunday 25th November – Sentrum Scene – Oslo, NO
Monday 26th November – Annexet – Stockholm, SE
Full tour dates can be found here
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