With alternative power pop that recalls the Foo Fighters and vocals that range from breathy to vulnerable, Song of the Siren debut with the eclectic City Lights Are Blinding You.
The album begins with the up-tempo “Outlaw,” a song about a criminal wanting to go straight. Vocalist/guitarist Isul Kim sings “I’m wanted in 12 states, dead or alive” while offering the man in her life a choice between joining her with a suitcase full of money or an empty suitcase if he wants to go packing.
On “Dirty Magazine,” Kim laments the state of teen and preteen girls on MySpace posting lewd photos of themselves, singing, “You’re just a girl, baby. Put your clothing back on.” The album took its name from a lyric in the song and Kim’s empathy for the song’s subjects shines through.
“Masquerade” blends power chords with tribal drumming in a song about ravers pretending to be something their not. The chorus reminds the listener of Garbage and Kim’s confident vocals carry the tune.
If you like Nirvana, but with a bouncy pop chorus, “Ghost to Rest” may be for you while “Cigarettes and Heartbreak” is an edgy song about stalkers that veers into power pop territory during the chorus.
Kim delivers a heart-wrenching vocal on the ballad, “Hospice For Two.” A song about loss, Kim needed to perform the song in on take to avoid breaking down in the studio. It is one of the album’s shining moments.
City Lights Are Blinding You offers a diverse mix of tunes that should please even the most jaded pop fan. While this is a debut album, you wouldn’t know it from the confidence displayed within. Song of the Siren will only grow as songwriters and that is an exciting prospect indeed.