By Daisy Balmont
The single ‘Track Back’ was released on August 1st ahead of the arrival of Sœur’s second EP Fight, and can be found on Spotify, Bandcamp and Youtube.
‘Track Back’ continues the band’s fantastically wide-reaching style, balancing heavier, angsty moments with flashes of light, playful vocals
Dual-fronted by Anya Pulver and Tina Maynard, with James Collins completing the trilogy on drums, Sœur are a genre-defying 3 piece, based in Bristol, who describe themselves as not quite “[fitting] snugly into a particular scene.” And having been a fan for a while and seen a few of their live performances, I can certainly vouch for that – there’s nothing quite like them. Their sound combines the beautifully soulful vocals of Pulver and Maynard with guitar riffs simultaneously redolent of math rock and grunge, as well as melodies that could even find a home in pop music. Their style is truly unique.
The BBC Radio 1 Rock Show, BBC Music Introducing and Total Guitar Magazine have all recognised this potential over the past few years, and Sœur have been invited to play in a Maida Vale Session in 2017, at Reading & Leeds Fest, Dot to Dot, and 2000Trees. They have subsequently recieved such reviews as “Sœur have everything you want from your favourite new guitar band: power, poise, and catchy-as-heck tunes” from Richard Pitt, BBC, and “Impossible-to-ignore experimental grunge” from Matt Parker, Total Guitar.
‘Track Back’ is Sœur’s latest release, following on from their first EP What Separates Us, in 2017, and stand-alone singles Left Living and No Fire, the latter of which I thoroughly recommend you listen to. ‘Track Back’ continues the band’s fantastically wide-reaching style, balancing heavier, angsty moments with flashes of light, playful vocals. In this latest single, Sœur aim to convey that “feeling like you can’t get back up again” after making mistakes is something that everyone goes through at one point or another in their lives, and that this is not something to feel ashamed of, it is completely natural; learning when to “[take] responsibility and [apologise] is really important in being able to move on” in Maynard’s experience. I think that this is another perfect example of Sœur’s brilliance: their lyrics are emotionally charged and have a great sense of depth and camaraderie; they are honest above all, and not written purely for the sake of making a hit.
There’s nothing quite like them
Community and belonging is something which has always mattered to the band, greatly influencing their decision to name themselves Sœur, which means ‘sister’ in French. They believe that “It doesn’t matter who you are, we are all sisters. Music is a reminder of our innate connection to each other”, a statement that is now more poignant than ever in our current socio-political climate, where hate and fear dominate. In addition to this, the band’s relationship is remarkably akin to that of siblings, in that “the three of [them] have very different musical backgrounds and influences,” and their diverse tastes and musical styles fight, overlap and broaden each other’s repertoires to form one great, melodious, stylistic amalgamation. Their unusual vocal pairing also results in a gorgeous back and forth, as well as an amazing creativity when intertwining vocals, harmonies, and rhythms.
Overall, I think that you would be wise to check out Sœur’s music, particularly their masterful new release ‘Track Back.’ Keep an eye out for big things from them in the near future.
Catch Sœur at one of their upcoming live dates – 10/08 Sebright Arms London, 18/08 Arctangent Festival Bristol, 01/09 The Downs Festival Bristol, 14/09 The Firebug Leicester, 25/09 Sticky Mike’s Brighton and 13/10 Moles Bath.
Image by Anna Shrimpton Photography