On ‘Sirens’, Andrew Paley of post punk rockers The Static Age brings together the seven tracks from 2014’s ‘Songs for Dorian Gray’ EP and five similarly stripped down songs recorded earlier this year. It is a largely acoustic affair of intimate chilled out songs, with breathy vocals and a wistful air.
This is very much a record of two halves, with the newer tracks up first and offering something a little more elaborate than the one man and his guitar vibe of the ‘Dorian Gray’ numbers. The easy flowing piano melody of opener ‘Come Home’ is prime example; featuring harmonies from The Lion and The Wolf’s Tom George, it’s an understated slice of pleasant folk pop.
We also get a distinctly eighties feel on the upbeat synths of ‘Let Me Go’, which is quite a contrast to the heartfelt tenderness of ‘Go To The Wolves’. As on ‘Take Cover’, the expansiveness is filled by a darkness that lends an air of the melancholic.
This slightly dark sparseness is the common ground that links to the earlier material, especially on tracks like the emotionally urgent ‘It’s Morning’. The blend of acoustic guitars and Andrew’s airy voice also works well on tracks like the wistful ‘Father John’ and the minor chords of ‘Caroline the Brave’.
However, it does get a little bland and tends to stay very much in a comfort zone. ‘Ellie’ for instance is pleasant and paints a vivid picture, but just doesn’t really go anywhere. For sure, individually, each song is well worked and certainly meaningful, but as a collection it just starts to drag a little; alternating the newer tracks with the older material may have been a way to provide a little more contrast.
‘Sirens’ is a pleasant enough collection of well-written tunes, it could just use a little more contrast and a tad more passion.
‘Sirens’ by Andrew Paley is out now on Paper + Plastick / Make My Day Records.
Words by Edward Layland (@EdwardLayland)