Genre: Singer-Songwriter, Indie-Folk
SIRENS is the debut LP from American singer-songwriter and indie-folk artist Jon Campbell. It is his first release since his EP ‚About a Boy’ debuted in 2016.
The album’s 10 tracks oscillate between alt-country and indie folk, with melancholic country ballads like its title track and the song “Broke Me” interspersed with a lo-fi, drum-machine-driven ode called “Lior”, or a jubilant celebration of gay love in the track “Rebels Without a Cause”, which features Berlin’s Pet Shop Bears Choir.
Jon will present all 10 tracks live at Privatclub on October 1st together with his „pocket symphony“ of 12 musicians. With only a couple of exceptions, the musicians playing this night are the same ones who played on the record.
“All of the songs on the record explore themes of gay love – in different ways and to varying degrees – whether in the form of heartache, infatuation, lust, enchantment, or nostalgia… when you boil it down, they’re all love songs.” says Campbell.
The album’s debut single “Francis” was released on April 12th to considerable acclaim in queer and alternative press:
“Francis showcases Jon’s subtleties and vulnerability as a songwriter. For me personally, it was that feeling of deep sincerity that made the biggest impact – it can be heard in his music, in his voice and it’s conveyed in his paintings. His ability to convey his deepest emotions in music and on canvas is quite startling and unforgettable.”
-Alex Gallacher, Folk Radio UK
“I almost called the album “Francis” because the song was so instrumental in the creation of the whole record. He was like gatekeeper at the floodgates of a bunch of songs: once he came about, song after song kept coming out of me, sometimes on a daily basis.
It came to me at a very dark period in my life, and it felt like a map to get out of hell. I think of Francis like an inner child, beckoning me to go on the two-year journey that became ‘Sirens’, showing me the way out of a dark place.”
– Campbell for Zap!Bang! Magazine
On the title, Campbell says:
“‘Sirens’ is also the name of second track I wrote for the album – I’d written it immediately after “Francis” and once I did, it was clear that I was making a whole record. From that point on I knew the album would also be called ‘Sirens’. The idea of ships lost at sea, sirens wailing through the dark – for rescue or for ruin – and the confusion or congruence of those two things, as well as a strong sense of danger and emergency – all signified so much of what I was feeling at the time the songs were conceived. I wrote many of the album’s arrangements with this idea in mind, and personified the instruments in my mind, like characters in a play.”
SIRENS are the intimate recollections of a journey through love and heartbreak as well as destruction and recovery, as told from several perspectives; each song representing different instruments, presenting their stories in their own distinct settings.
The self-produced record’s 10 tracks were recorded in the Berlin-based artist’s bedroom, with additional recordings made at Berlin’s Famous Gold Watch, O’Deer in Brooklyn, The Pool in London and Funkhaus in Berlin.
Campbell presents his own original arrangements on seven of the album’s ten tracks. Tracks 3, 4 & 10 feature arrangements by Jamie Irrepressible. The album is comprised almost entirely of acoustic instrumentation, including acoustic guitar, strings, piano, double bass, drums, brass, oboe, saxophone, banjo and more.
Side A features the album’s title track, as well as two remastered tracks from the ‚About a Boy‘ EP. Tracks 3 & 4 were produced by Jamie Irrepressible.
SIRENS features performances by 25 musicians, including guest appearances from The Pet Shop Bears‘ Choir, Jamie Irrepressible, Mikey, Joel Gibb, Malte Schiller, Joey Steffens, Vladislav Nachev, Monk, and Caroline Potter.