REVIEW: Sian Alice Group, “Nightbird” 7″, The Social Registry

Posted July 12th, 2007 by eric

This is the second release in The Social Registry’s limited 7″ Social Club. Sian Alice Group’s “Nightbird” is an expansive pop experiment, interweaving ethereal vocals with a lush and layered musical backdrop. Sian Ahern’s voice is precariously poised on the edge of seductive otherworldliness and shadowy allure. The music has an amorphous vagueness to it that feels loose and improvisational yet still manages to cultivate melody. In fact, the b-side is an instrumental version of “Nightbird”, featuring first take runs and spontaneous arrangements.

Hailing from London, Sian Alice Group features several veterans of the British music scene. Rupert Clervaux is a multi-instrumentalist and producer, who has worked with Spring Heel Jack and Treader Records, while Ben Crook is an acclaimed music video director with a home recording fetish called 40,000 Ghosts. His first 7″ was just released on Of the Manor, Of the Manor.

The group eschews traditional form and structure, instead choosing to develop ideas as they come, which puts Ahern on her toes vocally. It’s not easy to sing when you don’t know what’s about to happen next. It’s not complete chaos, however. The band has foundational seeds that morph slowly, so it’s not a matter of drastic jumps in tempo or timbre.

Sian Alice Group is currently at work on its debut full-length, which, if this 7″ is any indication, promises to exceed expectations.

Tags: album-review · track review