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New album showcased by singer-songwriter
Glasgow-based multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Siobhan Wilson plays Birmingham's Kitchen Garden Cafe on September 21, 2017, as part of a UK tour that includes dates in Manchester, Leicester and Edinburgh.
Multi-talented: Siobhan Wilson (pic: Gemma Dagger)
Brought up in Elgin, Morayshire, Siobhan discovered music at an early age, first studying classical piano and cello, and later playing in youth orchestras across Scotland. Her fascination with French culture and language prompted her to move to France shortly after finishing high school. Paris was the place where Siobhan first started developing her songwriting skills, going to open mic nights and immersing herself in French musical tradition.
Whilst in France she posted her tracks on MySpace, leading to her songs being discovered by a French label and sparking a crowdfunding campaign that enabled her to record and release her debut album Songs.
Homeward bound: Siobhan Wilson (pic: Gemma Dagger)
Returning to Scotland, Siobhan released two EPs and a single and began work on an album with Chris McCrory from the band Catholic Action. The completed record, There Are No Saints, was picked up by Scottish label Song, By Toad and released in July this year.
"Generally, I make sure to listen to things through several times and properly think things over before offering to release a record, but on this one, I was about halfway through the first song and I knew we'd want to put it out," says label founder Matthew Young.
The album is a collection of delicate songs dealing with heartache, art and religious faith. Most of the vocals on the album were completed in one take, with minimal arrangements highlighting the expressive vulnerability of the recordings.
As a tribute to Siobhan's love of Gallic culture, two of the tracks are in French. She says singing in French is something that comes naturally: ''It feels really relaxed and rolls off the tongue in a different way to English or other languages."
Experimental: Siobhan Wilson (pic: Gemma Dagger)
Her classical music upbringing can also be glimpsed. There Are No Saints and It Must Have Been the Moon bear echoes of choral music, whereas the harpsichord-layered Dystopian Bach takes a diversion into more experimental territory.
The singer's favourite track is Disaster and Grace. "I tried to make the arrangement paint the words at certain points," she says. "It switches time metre a few times and I can hear myself almost crying in it."