Sirens by Young Summer
by Maddie McLeod
If the electro pop-rock Loch Ness Monster devoured Lana Del Rey, Of Monsters and Men, and Christina Perri, it would next pursue the alt-indie singer-songwriter Bobbie Allen (better known as Young Summer). In the last couple of years, the DC-based singer songwriter has opened for the likes of Trent Dabbs as well as performing a slot at the highly coveted SXSW.
And it’s no wonder, really. In 2014, Young Summer released a twelve song album appropriately titled Sirens. With glittering, glossy synths, dreamy bass, and crooning vocals, the LP tells Allen’s journey of wistful, shattering hopes—and learning how to glue what remains back together into something more beautiful than before. Young Summer comes in screaming and clamoring before going out with a haunted whisper that wakes you up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night.
Young Summer develops each song into its own kind of beast. With beachy titles such as "Waves That Rolled You Under," "Propeller," and "Siren" to hazy, trance-like musical compositions found in "Sons of Lighting," "Taken," and "Striking Distance" all help to pull these beautiful musical creatures into one sonically cohesive unit, a beast to reckoned with.
Track 11, better known as "Cage," is the song that really brings the album together. With empowering anthem lyrics, solid bass drum mixed with eighties-themed tribal rhythms, and wobbly synths, Allen states, “[I] wasn’t born for a cage, wasn’t born to be tamed.” Then her voice soars through a string of notes that are reminiscent of a battle cry. Which, in retrospect, makes sense. This entire album is Allen’s battle cry, her way of clawing and carving out her corner in a saturated music industry.
However, like any good record, there has to be a wild-child. With Lana Del Rey vibes, a revving, deep bass, and a tinkling glockenspiel, "Classless Kids" is easily the stuck-in-a-daze little monster. Despite its outlier-esque sounds, Allen manages to make the (not so) little track feel very much apart of the group. It’s quite the family but regardless, it’s a family which is one of the most important aspects any musician can do for their projects.
So go and grab a copy of Sirens before the summer finishes. Then as the ocean freezes over and leaves die, pop the music into your ears and turn yourself over to the Young Summer monsters running in your head.
They’ll be sure to welcome you warmly.
— Maddie McLeod is a Siblíní Music Correspondent.