remarkable songs with a real flair for drama
A dark, ominous swirl of anxious clicks, thrums and heavy sub-bass begins to develop. We have 25 seconds to make a decision: escape or continue at our peril as “She Might Bleed” prepares to go full force. ‘I Don’t Get It’, the wickedly ominous opener to SIPHO.’s second EP, advances through a dense and smoldering production, before revealing its most astonishing thing of all: this artist’s exceptional and soaring tenor from Birmingham. Evocative of a thunderbolt, it can glide effortlessly from canyon-sized depth to soulful falsetto — and instantly make your heart skip a beat.
At the heart of everything on this six-track collection is SIPHO. (pronounced See-Poe) the voice of. He uses his not-so-secret weapon as a powerful and versatile tool, comfortable expressing emotional turmoil as he wears a scowl. On his 2021 debut EP ‘And God Said…’, the 21-year-old used it to extract catharsis from even the quietest moments; Lead single “Bodies” sounded like tearing off a cast, its commanding vocals detailing a crisis of faith. This same theatrical mixture of tenderness and rage is expressed on ‘Occasion’: “Praise Yourself / Kneel Until I’m Dead and Gone”he sings, as syncopated chords pulse in anticipation of release.
But it’s the sumptuous “Beady Eyes” that is the real highlight of the show. Every detail is enchanting: its disembodied pop structure mixes Hot Chip synths from the era of “A Bath Full Of Ecstasy”, flashes of white noise and a rumbling bassline. SIPHO.’s delivery, meanwhile, sounds intimate and lively, as if singing straight from the stage of a smoky jazz bar. By embracing the possibilities of experimentation with real care and attention, he has created the type of song that will stop you in your tracks when it hits its supernova; a crash of percussion pushing its final roaring chorus to celestial heights.
“Fadin” and the earlier “Interlude” are built on delicious contrast, with subtle melodies that stay low to the ground, full of real-world samples, including a car door chime and heavy, panicky breathing. They counterbalance perfectly with the rest of ‘She Might Bleed’, which is the sound of SIPHO. traversing both his many sonic curiosities and the extreme lengths of emotive and compelling power his music can evoke. “My Time Is Coming”he announces over the nearer gospel-tinged divine ‘Chiasma’, before a blast of trumpets signals a new dawn.
- A record label: Dirty blow
- Release date: February 18