Scottish singer-songwriter Siobhan Wilson veers from Breeders-style girl-rock to the gentle folk-pop of sixties’ French chanteuse Françoise Hardy in the blink of an eye.
On her new album, There Are No Saints, she swaps lilting English for French where the song demands, delivering a slow-burning set that oozes spell-binding nostalgia.
Refrained musical arrangements pack out the emotional hit, with Siobhan flexing the chops she first acquired when playing in youth orchestras across Scotland.
Last month, she was named the winner of Green Man Rising, the annual competition offering upcoming artists the opening slot on the festival’s main stage. In recognition of her rare talents, she opens the festival’s Mountain Stage today (18 August), before kicking off on a UK tour in September (info below).
We caught up with our former Featured Artist before she set off to find out more about her Francophile musical ways…
What was the first song you developed an obsession for?
Either Blue, Little Green or Clouds by Joni Mitchell.
What’s the first gig you went to?
If you don’t include talent shows and things like that, I think it was Biffy Clyro in the Cowshed at Kinloss. It was amazing!!
What’s the first instrument you ever got hold of?
A piano. My granny gave us one when she moved house. It changed my life forever!
What is your worst musical habit?
I get a nervous twitch when I hear glissando saxophone, only if played deliberately full-toned and indulgently. It can be debilitating.
What’s the best piece of musical advice you’ve ever been given?
If you’ve practised hard, practise again; or go up on stage and kick ass (cello teacher, 11 years old).
Where do you discover new music?
I ask humans face-to-face what their favourite band is, and then I look them up online.
What’s your favourite venue?
Maybe The Glad Cafe, Bloc in Glasgow. A lot of memories and lovely people can be found there.
Who is your current favourite band/artist?
What inspirations outside of music impact your songwriting?
Audiobooks, painting, sitting outside cafes reading, listening to other people’s life stories.
What track of yours best represents your sound?
Any track from the new album There Are No Saints.
What’s next for you?
A new album, a classical project, some collaborations and a few new jumpers.
Siobhan Wilson’s There Are No Saints is out now on Song, by Toad.
Tour dates –
8 September – The Blue Lamp, Aberdeen
9 September – The Drouthy Cobbler, Elgin
11 September – The Castle, Manchester
16 September – The Bothy, Glenbuchat
17 September – The Basement, York
18 September – Kenilworth Arts Festival
19 September – The Musician, Leicester
21 September – Kitchen Garden Cafe, Birmingham
22 September – The Hall, Lancaster
24 September – Voodoo Room, Edinburgh
26 September – Tolbooth, Stirling