reviewed by Kaitlin Ruether
Syren + the Waves is the project of Hillary Ross, a Kelowna-based mermaid on land who creates the sweet and ethereal sounds of the sea. Water and all the mystique and power that it holds has become a cohesive theme in Syren’s music, and this is especially true of her latest EP, Kintsugi Cœur.
Kintsugi Cœur swings from danceable and charged, to more gently atmospheric, and then bounces back up for a catchy conclusion. Driven by Syren’s lilting and sweet voice — which traverses the line between organic and electrifying — each song feels like a call through the ocean. It is how I imagine a mermaid would sound as she called to her sisters.
“Shoreline” opens with waves, then introduces floating synths and and a minimal but smooth beat. “It’s a beautiful day,” Syren repeats, and the joy is contagious. “Sea of Gold” finds a steadiness in its romance. This is honest love for another soul; a sunshine that coats an ever-unsteady shoreline. The repetitions in “See Me As The Sea” make it the perfect party tune. Whirling and immediate, this final offering is the pop gem of the EP.
“I must be a mermaid, I have no fear of depths, and a great fear of shallow living,” reads the Anais Nin quote that Syren has on her Facebook page. Depth plays a real part in the unique sounds on Kintsugi Cœur, which is the third release for this Okanagan mermaid, and is a lovely addition to her thematic collection. Endlessly interesting, we can only wait to see what new depths Syren + The Waves will pull to the surface next.
Top Track: “See Me As the Sea”
Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)