Singer Siobhan de Maré has made an interesting niche for herself since the mid 1990s. She first emerged as part of the duo Mono(UK), formed with session musician Martin Virgo. Mono released the album “Formica Blues”, but was best known for the single “Life in Mono”, which reached the Top 20 on certain US and UK charts, taking their place among artists like Portishead, Sneaker Pimps and Massive Attack and with this single, arguably introducing elements of drum n’bass to the mainstream that’s been otherwise limited to the underground. It also attracted cult like status as part of the Great Expectations movie soundtrack featuring Robert DeNiro and Gwyneth Paltro. By 2000, she moved on to Violet Indiana, collaborating with former Cocteau Twins’ guitarist Robin Guthrie, mixing the classic trademarks of Guthrie’s dreamy guitar riffs with her range of smoky and sultry tones. In some ways, it continued what she started with Mono. They had six releases (including two full albums) with stand out songs like “Sundance”,“Killer Eyes” and “Russian Doll”.
More than a decade later, the year 2016 would see de Maré team up with multi-instrumentalist Gary Bruce to create the duo Swoone. While the first two collaborators (Virgo and Guthrie) had vast studio experience working with Nellee Hooper, Massive Attack and of course the Twins, Gary Bruce’s path was through the realm of intuition, no musical training and knowledge, a self taught composer and producer. He even admits to having notes written on his keyboard with a pencil. Still his viscerally driven compositions would lead to recordings like his 2011 solo album “Maps”, a cornucopia of ambient, folk and cinematic influences that would be instrumental for his current collaboration and he would make a more than adequate partner to realize some of de Maré’s vision.
This lead to their first single “This Bullet Never Kills”, which debuted on the November 2016 Static Waves 5 compilation released by Sainte Marie Records. Its also the first single from the debut full album “Handcuffed Heart”. With the debut, expect more of the cavernous guitars and swelling strings mixed with the voice of de Maré, gathering from diverse influences such as Portishead to John Barry to shoegaze, a cinematic trip from start to finish. Considering their history, there’s nothing less to expect.
Note – some sources taken from press releases
Edit – shared an upload from Static Waves 6 “Never Let Go”