Sirena, the second album from Davey Ray Moor, Liam McKahey, Craig Vear and Joe Peet further demonstrates Cousteau’s debt to Scott Walker, the Tindersticks and, indeed, any young man or men who have ever put on a suit, turned the lights down low and crooned sadly and sonorously, but edgily. A bunch of itinerant thirtysomethings led by tattooed Irish former decorator–the big-voiced McKahey–and jobbing Aussie musician-turned-writer of sepia-toned torchsong Moor, Cousteau’s self-titled debut sold 100,000 copies on the back of endless touring and word-of-mouth. Whether the even more soulful and gently persuasive Sirena will signal a major breakthrough for Cousteau depends on how many of us want to hear musicians play simple but majestic pop without studio trickery, and need a bit of heartbreak poetry in our lives.
Buoyed by dramatic pianos, subtle strings and even the odd keening steel guitar, these anthems of bruised machismo frame Liam’s rich and relaxed slides between warm baritone and caressing falsetto. If there’s a drawback, it lies in the rhythmic and textural sameyness of much of the material. But, at its best–"Nothing So Bad", "Heavy Weather", single "Talking To Myself", the deliciously sensual "Salome"–Sirena is an album of bittersweet bliss and old-fashioned swoon-pop values. –Garry Mulholland
Arranged By – Cousteau (2)
Bass, Violin, Piano, Vocals – Joe Peet
Cello – Sophie Harris
Drums, Percussion – Craig Vear
Guitar, Vocals – Robin Brown
Mastered By – Chris Blair
Producer, Written-by, Piano, Vocals, Organ [Hammond], Flugelhorn, Harmonica, Accordion, Guitar, Strings – Davey Ray Moor
Programmed By – Ger McDonnell, Matthieu Clouard, Paul Hicks
Recorded By [Additional] – Dan Sansom, Davey Ray Moor, Zennor
Recorded By, Mixed By – Ger McDonnell
Saxophone [Baritone] – Pelham Wood
Saxophone [Tenor] – Jonathan Eato
Technician [Studio Assistant] – Alison Grimsey, Ed Harlow, Kit Carpenter, Robbie Nelson (2)
Trombone – Martin Gladdish
Trumpet – Mick Ball
Viola – Anne Stephenson, Claire Orsler, Clare Finnimore, Gini Ball
Violin – Jackie Norrie, Julia Singleton, Sally Herbert
Vocals, Percussion – Liam McKahey
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In the gritty world of Kingston ghetto, there are a few ways out.
Fortunately Marcia, a humble street vendor struggling to survive as a single mother, discovers the world of dancehall. Through it she finds more than great music and hot relationships, she finds a way to a better life. By day, she toils on the hot Kingston streets and by night she becomes "the mystery lady", the new star of the dancehall. Here is her chance to escape the clutches of Larry, who under the guise of helping her hard-pressed family is actually after her eldest daughter, Tanya. Also, she will finally be able to rid herself of Priest, the murderous thug who is threatening her very existence.
If Marcia can win the dancehall contest, the prize money and more importantly, her own sense of worth, she will finally be free. Free not only of the lowlifes like Larry and Priest, but on the ghetto itself.
Created by Island Records founder Chris Blackwell (Bob Marley, U2, Grace Jones etc.). Palm Pictures has always pushed musical boundaries and encouraged unlikely collaborations. Since the late 90’s it has been a leader in the convergence of music and film, producing and distributing music documentaries, arthouse & foreign cinema, and music videos.