A dark, ominous whirlpool of anxious clicks, whirrs, and hefty sub-bass begins to expand. We’re given 25 seconds to make a decision: escape, or continue at our own peril as ‘She Might Bleed’ prepares to launch into full force. ‘I Don’t Get It’, the wickedly eerie opener to the second EP from SIPHO., lurches along on dense and smoldering production, before it reveals its most astonishing trick of all: the exceptional, booming tenor of this Birmingham artist. Evocative of a lightning strike, it can effortlessly glide from a canyon-sized depth to a stirring falsetto – and cause your heart to instantly miss a beat.
At the core of everything on this six-track collection is SIPHO. (pronounced See-Poe)’s voice. He wields his not-so-secret weapon as a powerful and versatile tool, comfortable expressing emotional turmoil as it is wearing a zero-fucks scowl. On his 2021 debut EP ‘And God Said…’, the 21-year-old used it to wring catharsis out of even the quietest moments; lead single ‘Bodies’ sounded like ripping a plaster off, his commanding vocal detailing a crisis of faith. That same theatrical blend of tenderness and rage is expressed on ‘Occasion’: “Praise you / On my knees till I’m dead and gone”, he sings, as syncopated chords pulse in anticipation of release.
But it’s the sumptuous ‘Beady Eyes’ that’s the real show-stopper. Each detail is enchanting: its disembodied pop structure mashes up ‘A Bath Full Of Ecstasy’-era Hot Chip synths, bolts of white noise, and a rumbling bassline. SIPHO.’s delivery, meanwhile, feels intimate and live, as though he’s singing directly from the stage at a smoky jazz bar. By embracing the possibilities of experimentation with real care and attention, he’s created the type of song that will stop you in your tracks when it hits its supernova; a crash of percussion pushing its final, roaring refrain to celestial heights.
‘Fadin’’ and the preceding ‘Interlude’ are built on a delicious contrast, with subtle melodies that stay low to the ground, full of real-world samples including a car door chime and heavy panicked breathing. They counterbalance perfectly with the rest of ‘She Might Bleed’, which is the sound of SIPHO. traversing both his many sonic curiosities and the extreme lengths of the emotive, compelling power that his music can conjure. “My moment is coming”, he announces on the divine, gospel-tinged closer ‘Chiasma’, before a flare of trumpets signals a new dawn.
- Record label: Dirty Hit
- Release date: February 18