Home > Uncategorized > Siskin – Traffic in my Mind

Siskin – Traffic in my Mind

December 9, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Whilst I was at BBC 6 Music for Tom Robinson’s ‘Fresh on the Net’ show, my main job (and a great one it was too) was to trawl through the net to find great, ‘fresh’ music that could be heard online by artists with minimal exposure and next a push to get their ambitions rolling.

I was coming to my final days there and I wasn’t really finding anything, getting a bit fed up of coming across yet another unimaginative drowned-in-sound/NME-loving style band, so I went to grab some super cold water opposite the ‘waste bin’.

This waste bin contains CDs that people have (or haven’t) listened to and which they didn’t want anymore and so were there for anyone to take. It was heaven for me – so many great albums, promo cds, dvds, even Playstation games just sitting there! So I decided to take a look through it and then this one CD caught my eye.

It was super chunky and held together by a piece of velcro. I thought with all this effort it must have been funded by a major record label. So I played it. Expecting the worst. It certainly wasn’t. In fact, it was brilliant. A vocal sound similar to The Cardigans, as well as compositional style, I was loving the varied tracks on the debut album by Siskin. I thought I’d go back to my desk and do some research. Turns out the chunky album was hand-made and that they’re definitely not signed to a major, in fact I think the record is self-released. I also found, interestingly, that one of the vocalists, Galen Ayres is the daughter of psychedelic pioneer Kevin Ayers.

Traffic in my Mind starts with an ambiguous piano riff hinting for a long build-up before any sort of resolution. And indeed it takes until 1:08 for the chorus to be heard before going back into the ambiguous piano riff, but with slightly more impassioned vocals. I just love the chord progressions in these verses. The mood is essentially a sad one, with most of the chords reflecting the minor key feel to the piece. But occasionally we get a hint of ‘light’ such as at 1:45 where a nice, strong major chord is sounded, which to me, reflects the moments of hope we have when we’re feeling so down, messed up, full of traffic in our minds.

For me, from 3:00 is where the piece reaches its climax. Two chords are effectively played in repetition and ambiguity until the epic inclusion of timpani at 3:10 to get us back into the minor key, the hauntingly beautiful ‘wailing’ chorus and the gradual inclusion of layers – extra vocals, violins, guitars. It’s all so busy and polyphonic – skilfully reflective of the title.

Traffic In My Mind by massime

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  1. chocolate eclaire
    January 13, 2010 at 2:50 PM

    I know of this band! Heard them on BBC 6 the other day, really refreshing to hear a couple of girls not pandering to the recent spate of "girl music" and instead daring to be innovative and independent of the times.xxx

  2. Anonymous
    January 26, 2010 at 3:29 AM

    Love this mass….send me the album now!!!!! Bragand

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