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This year has witnessed the rise of ethereal folk music, which sees artists apply subtle electronic textures with the intimacy of folk music. The popularity of this genre can be attributed to artists realizing that electronic music can emotionally move an individual and that a song’s lyrics can still be the driving force behind any genre. Earlier this year, Milk & Bone left audiences around the world in awe with their debut album Little Mourning. Along the same path comes Irish duo Saint Sister.

Saint Sister was formed in 2014 by friends Gemma Doherty and Morgan MacIntyre. They’ve dubbed their version of electronic folk as “atmosfolk”, which is also another perfect description of their music as heard on their debut EP, Madrid. Like Milk & Bone, Saint Sister are using electronic beats and rhythms to act as complementary elements to their music. Unlike the Montreal-based band, however, Saint Sister leans more towards the folk than electronic side, incorporating guitar, harp, and piano. In addition, the harmonies are tremendous on each song with the two skillfully playing off one another. So whereas a Milk & Bone’s music scintillates, Saint Sister’s album haunts, captivates, and stuns. Madrid is an immersive album, where one loses herself in everything from the melodies, the rhythms, and the harmonies.

The title track encapsulates the entire experience. Doherty’s and MacIntyre’s voices are mesmerizing, where they even use them as another beat to complement the electronic pulses. “Madrid”, though, is really the one track that leans heavily on electronic music. “Castles” and “Blood Moon” are more akin to Irish folk songs, where the instrumental is kept to a minimum and the duo’s voices carry the track. Like many Irish folk songs, the two sing about the importance of family and the people who have helped shaped their lives.

On the album’s finale, “Versions of Hate”, the two channel Swedish stars First Aid Kit. The song is a demonstration of stunning simplicity, where even the most stripped back song can be gorgeous and moving. What the Doherty and MacIntyre are able to do with their voices is remarkable, and the main reason why the track reaches atmospheric heights.

Saint Sister’s Madrid is out now via Trout Records. Hear for yourself the young ladies’ fabulous harmonies by listening to the four tracks in this post or stream it in its entirety on SoundCloud and Spotify. Purchase the album on iTunes (UK | US | CAN) and Amazon (UK | US).

Website – www.saintsisterband.com
Facebook – Saint Sister
Twitter – @Saint_Sister_
Instagram – @saint_sister_

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Saint Sister - Madrid

Featured photography by by Deborah Sheedy

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