by: Mychael Danna

Mychael Danna's debut American release explores the strength and mysteries of the female psyche. Sirens nine compositions express different aspects of femininity through the stories of mythological figures and saints like Celtic heroine Deirdre; Maat, the Egyptian goddess of truth; and Saint Bernadette. Fittingly, these lyrical pieces reflect musical elements of each culture's siren; rich strings and poignant uilleann pipes adorn "Deirdre of the Sorrows," adding to its melancholy Irish grace. "Selene"'s echoing piano chords and pulsing bass suggest the icy majesty of the full moon goddess, and "Visions of Bernadette," with its dramatic orchestration, paints a musical portrait of the young French girl who became a Catholic saint. Along with lush synth and string arrangements, guitars shape the fluid soundscapes of Sirens. Slow, rippling layers of electric guitar on "A Feather for Your Soul" evoke the underworld landscape of Maat, the Egyptian goddess responsible for weighing the souls of the dead against a feather. "Innana" and "Nakawe" feature pedal steel guitars that help convey the grace and dignity of the Sumerian queen of heaven and earth, and the Earth goddess of the North American Huichol Indians, respectively. Touches of bamboo flute, piano, and subtle female vocals add to the spacious, cinematic feel of these vignettes, for an appealing blend of pop, world and space music. A sonically and emotionally pleasing album, Sirens underscores the allure of the feminine perspective. ~ Heather Phares

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