Siobhan Wilson’s There Are No Saints starts off with its titular track, a saintly track that sets the scene beautifully and topically for a particularly nuanced, bold, intelligent and endearing album.
What it does extremely well is meld contemporary and classical elements with respect, restraint and understanding; delivering one of the best debut albums we’ve heard recently.
Followed by ‘Whatever Helps’ – a subversive, well produced and acoustically exploratory track, Wilson exquisitely delivers extremely timely lyrics in an interesting and unpredictable way.
‘Dear God’ drops the listener down a step but persists in embracing a non-linear fashion and structure.
Wilson – it seems – was so entranced by French culture that she moved there after high school, where she embraced and developed her musicality, this certainly gives the album – particularly in tracks like ‘Dear God’ a certain… je ne sais qua.
There are no stinkers or fillers on here, some of the tracks are shorter and less memorable, but contribute to the overall experimentality of the work.
A few tracks that deserve a very special shout out include ‘Make You Mine’ – a joyous and sad journey of a song, which is accessible and relatable to a wide range of people without being pretentious or forced, telling a story that spans almost 20 years with beautifully rhythmic vocals and ponderous, endearing music.
It is followed by ‘Dark Matter’, which follows the thematic arc of intelligence and exploration set forth by the album so far – remaining catchy but retaining its depth, breadth and sense of character.
For such a highly artistic album, it is not alienating or difficult to engage with; there is no sense of snobbery here.
There is nothing about this album that occurs in a particularly linear, predictable or boring way, it is exceptionally progressive and evolving.
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Words: Paul Aitken