SXSW Song of the Day: Saint Sister, Causing Trouble


Adding the adjective Celtic to any modern music automagically evokes that most popular of icons in the “New Age” of 1990, harmonizing on an island clifftop as “Orinoco Flow” plays over the airwaves, whilst I was living on an island without those same airwaves. Sad, regarding that second bit.

New Age is unfortunately a bastardized term that could taint many music genres performed by Irish women for which philistines lack the attention span to digest. Thankfully, Dublin-based Saint Sister is unlikely to be boring even to those readers of a bourgeois disposition, which of course we have none, so my bad. Having released their first EP, Madrid, just two years ago, the sisters Morgan MacIntyre and Gemma Doherty were promptly named one of the Best Irish Acts of 2017 by the Irish Times. This is high praise that has been sustained by appearances in festivals like Reeperbahn and Glastonbury, as well as major broadcasting centers like ABC and BBC1. Very exciting stuff, indeed.

“Causing Trouble” is the first track off their next album. Their songs are characterized by clear, crisp, yet delicate vocals with a distinctly Celtic and Nordic melody. The lack of a purposeful harmony is refreshing, as it steals a peek almost naturally, yet when you least expect it. I’m determined NOT to read the lyrics here, however, because “Causing Trouble” is the last thing on my mind when I hear this. Paired with a backdrop of simple electronics, it is just an atmospheric and cleansing soundscape that recalls a rejuvenation spell in Skyrim (perhaps I’ve completely destroying the imagery at this point). I also recommend “Blood Moon” from the first EP, which is a bit more sparse but also more emotional. Looking forward to seeing them live, as well as taking a stroll on a beach with this buoying my state of mind.

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Posted on by Gary in Everything, Song of the Day, South By Southwest

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