Sienná are a trio who revel in the colorful and varied blend of life and music that the world has to offer. As people they hail from diverse backgrounds, with roots spreading multi-nationally from Japan to Europe – as musicians they carry on an ethos of amalgamation.
Frontlady Sienná (keyboards, vocal, programming), who hails from Kyoto, Japan – now resides in Norway, where she met band mates Hallvard Gaardløs (vocal, bass) and Fredrik Karwowski (guitar). The new single ‘I Know Why’ (scheduled release on 20th October 2014), is a blend of electronic pop, jazz and ‘Gagaku’ – a type of traditional music from Kyoto, Japan -ancient imperial court music written to accompany dance. It is also the first track produced by frontlady Sienná herself, and will be released via her own label Anneis Records.
For anyone pining for the glorious down-tempo ambiance of Sienná’s 2013 masterpiece, “Japonesque” , this is even better, and more accessible to the mainstream ear . The trio herein weaves a beautiful and eclectic musical tapestry of voices, instruments and electronic sounds, together with the vivid interludes of the electric guitar, which adds another dimension to their already layered music.
It is not just the words and poetic musical imagery that convey a sense of wonder and malaise on this track, but how Sienná adopts a sexy, world-weary whisper that is both calming and affecting. Indeed, her voice often is the music, and her ethereal vocalizing becomes yet another instrument on the trio’s tracks. On ‘I Know Why’, the added, impassive, laidback male vocal by Hallvard plays off as a perfect counterfoil to Sienná’s delicately emotional delivery.
The song reminds me of something that Portishead and Bjork would do together on a midnight jam. This is music that defies classification, and which few musicians accomplish within such enticing experiences as ‘I Know Why’. There appears to be a nice blend of organic and generated sound in the instrumental layers. But it’s not just the sound – mesmerizing and languid with an exotically baroque candor – it’s the entire aura that surrounds the Sienná project, which impresses, and has always impressed me most!