The track, GOT IT, is available via:
8th June, 2018
Pop; Funk; Alternative
THIS time around...
I have been looking at the new single from SIIGHTS. This is not the first time I have assessed the fantastic duo – it is great to be with them again and see how they have progressed. Mia Fitz is from Ireland and Toni Etherson is from Scotland. They are based in the U.K. but spend time in the U.S. I wanted to talk about internationality and spending creative time in the U.S. I will also look at female duos and why, I feel, they have the chance to make huge changes; creating a sound that is indelible and announces the summer; having a chemistry and connection that translates into the music/studio; a bit about fanbase and gaining acclaim – I will end by looking at the future for SIIGHTS and where they might head. First of all, I want to look at the U.S. and why it is a draw for many musicians. SIIGHTS have spent time recording and playing in America and, for my money, incorporate some of that U.S. sound into their own music. Although there is Irish and Scottish blood in the duo; when you look at the music, there is a nod to what is happening in America right now. I have only been to the country once but I know there is a different scene there and Pop/Alternative music has a different sound. What strikes me about SIIGHTS is how they have that British base and grounding but splice in some elements of Los Angeles and the energy coming from there. Fitz and Etherson are talented songwriters who have grown up around a lot of varied and interesting sounds. They pick guidance from all sorts of areas and, in terms of the overall effect, it is exciting and deep. I mention the U.S. because the girls have performed there and spent time writing among some great people. I think they have a definite future there.
I am not suggesting the duo move over there and remain but there is a definite chance they will succeed and find long-term love in America. There is a lot of affection here, as I will explain, but America is a market many struggle to create. I listen to the duo’s new single, GOT IT, and can hear that beautiful mix of sunny climate and a tough, solid sensation. I will reveal more but, before I address a new theme, it is worth looking at America and why it is such a draw. I have seen artists go to the country in order to find new opportunities and speak with record labels/venues there. It does not indicate a struggle here but, if you are an ambitious musician, it is only natural America would come calling. For SIIGHTS, they seem to have a connection with the nation and able to easily blend in there. If L.A. seems like a natural residence for them; look over to New York and the East Coast and what is happening there. I feel SIIGHTS could get a great reception here and grow their fanbase even more. It is hard breaking America and there is so much competition wherever you go. Whilst they might take a few years to get onto the biggest stages; there are some great, similar-minded duos playing in the U.S. that could offer them support slots. Whatever they have planned, I know they will be back in America and exploring what is going down. I hear the vibrancy and sweat of Los Angeles but there is a lot more working away in GOT IT. Fitz and Etherson are a tight and mesmeric force that is determined to get their songs heard right around the world. I have high hopes they will succeed and get some big international acclaim. Let us move on and explore a new subject.
The issue of sexism and gender imbalance always comes up and deserves debate. I am someone who takes the time to view music as a spectrum and equal market. There is nothing to suggest we cannot get parity and equality very soon – right now, female artists are struggling to get the same attention as men. That is, as I always say, the fault of men themselves. Maybe it is the same people in high positions being ignorant but, to me, there is that reliance and obsession with the band market – a corner of music that is nowhere near as strong and commercial as it once was. Duos have always been in music but, if you had to name your favourite five, would you be able to do that?! Most of us grew up around bands and solo artists but, lately, different configurations have played a bigger role. Duos are starting to take some of the weight away from bands and show how powerful they are. SIIGHTS intrigue me as they are a female duo that differs to anything out there. I have reviewed a few female duos, including REWS, and there is a lot to suggest they will take on the music industry and become a huge success. Whilst I feel the balance of men and women will take a bit to redress; female duos are a fascinating dynamic that, I feel, will be headlining the biggest festivals before too long. SIIGHTS are not the same as REWS, for instance: they are more concerned with heavier Rock and sound a little like Royal Blood. SIIGHTS have jagged edges but they are a more Pop-influenced and melodic proposition. In any case, one cannot easily define the female duo and what they are all about. I think bands are struggling for momentum and not as quality-driven and original as once was. Look back at the 1990s, for instance, and it was a time when bands ruled the land and were saying what needed to be said.
We are in a time where political and social divisions are rife and that need for commentary and guidance is high. Bands are struggling to do this – or the ones who are important are not given enough chance to shine in the mainstream – but there is something to be said of duos like SIIGHTS who are providing inspiration and a sense of relief. I am seeing so much vague and empty Pop music that packs a punch but does not really resonate and remain. In the case of Mia Fitz and Toni Etherson; they manage to provide sensational music with lyrics that strike the mind. There isn’t the needless wastage you get with bands – too many players or people fighting for leadership – and there something you do not get from the solo artists. I like male duos coming through but I think their female counterparts are far stronger. I say this because, in terms of sounds and style, there is a lot more on offer. It is the chemistry and closeness you get with SIIGHTS, I will look at soon, and the fact they share a love of the same music that means what they produce is so natural and long-lasting. You get all the personality and commercial draw you’d get with a great Pop solo artist but there is the attack, passion and force one might find in a band. I feel the issue of gender split will be a complex and tough one to resolve anytime soon: the fact we are seeing so many great female artists means people cannot ignore what is happening and why we need to see equality very soon. Let us consider how SIIGHTS came together and why they are such a tight and compelling unit. You only need to look at their latest track to realise they are going on to big things and ready to shake up the music scene.
You only need to look at the music of SIIGHTS to realise they are committed to what they do and keen to explore what Pop offers. Although their music is not solely Pop-based; you do get that vivacious and uplifting sound one associates with the genre. There are Alternative and Indie strikes that makes their sounds so illuminating and complex. It is no surprise Etherson and Fitz have that knowledge and confidence in their music as they spent a lot of time in the Hollywood Hills writing songs for other artists. The duo formed in 2016 and that is how they spent their early life: writing tunes for other musicians and getting a feel about the scene. That might not sound ideal and all that good but, when you look at the complexities and variations in their music; that sort of ambition can only come from writers who have had that start – discovering other artists’ music and what the scene is looking for. Take all that aside and it is the chemistry and friendship of the pair that makes their music addictive. Maybe male duos have a different bond but, for female duos, it is much more sisterly and soulful. I see it in REWS – Shauna Tohill and Collette Williams are so close and connected – and one can pick that up in SIIGHTS. Both Etherson and Fitz have that desire to make great music and they are on the same page. There is no natural standout, in terms of a leader of the duo, and they have that respect for one another. A true love and understanding of one another is hard to find in music: SIIGHTS have this and pour it into every song they create. I feel one of the reasons the best artists remain together is friendship and a trust in one another. Even when times get tough and there are those disagreements; they are willing to spend time apart and reflect; come back together even stronger than before.
I know SIIGHTS will be successful because their two members have a rock-solid fusion and they have so much respect for each other. It is great to see in music and is why duos are so appealing to me. You can exist in a band and have members that dislike one another. We have solo artists but it is quite lonely and can be a struggle. Duos are tighter and cannot exist if the members do not get along. Great music comes from connection and a passion for what you do. If there are tensions and cracks in the foundations then that will show in the music. SIIGHTS are pushing on and always keen to explore new ground. Not only is there no end in sight but there is that desire to conquer and play some of the biggest stages in the world. It is hard launching a single, regardless of talent, and getting it spread and shared. The duo writes all the songs and play instruments in the studio. They are keen not to farm out duties to too many others and want to have their say. That control and sense of identity comes through in GOT IT and, I know, will go on to be a big stormer. It has a readymade sound for the summer and proof SIIGHTS are to be taken very seriously. I have spoken about duos and why they are a great unit; I have looked at Fitz and Etherson of SIIGHTS and why they are so connected. Another reason why SIIGHTS are engaging is because they create music that sounds unlike anything out there. There are, sure, some Pop edges and something that might remind you of someone else – for the most part, you get unique and original intent. I have speculated how SIIGHTS’ sound summons summer and has that sweat-inducing quality.
The weather is, I guess, improving, and we are all want the heat and sunshine to come. It is almost here and, with that, artists are stretching and limbering to attack festivals. I think most of them are already booked but, in the case of SIIGHTS, there will be plenty of opportunities for them. They have that instant and popular sound people want to see in the open. I have listened to GOT IT a lot and, whilst there is emotion and a seriousness working away; you hear the composition and vocals and it gets the body moving and spirits flowing. I love music that goes deep and has a personal sense of emotion but long for music that can form some sense of escape and frivolity. What SIIGHTS have done is produce a song that has a universal message and can be understood by everyone but has a sense of fun that means it will prove popular in the live setting. I am excited to see where SIIGHTS head and what their next move is. The confidence and quality of their latest single sound so effortless. I know the duo works hard but they have been songwriting for years and know what they are doing. To me, GOT IT is the most urgent and alluring song they have ever created. They are in a different phase of their career and have transcended from the local stages and want to take on the world. Because of that, they need to produce a song that can survive in the world and cross language barriers. Listen to the power coming from their single and how it gets into the blood and you know it will get a lot of love from radio stations and fans across the globe. Maybe summer festivals have been overlooked – organisers have a full diary – but SIIGHTS will be tackling venues and spaces and taking their music to the masses. I have seen many artists attempt to write something summer-ready and anthemic – some succeed but there are plenty of weak attempts. SIIGHTS have created a gem that is stronger than most of the material out there and marks them out for great things.
Before I review GOT IT, I will look at how Mia Fitz and Toni Etherson have grown and been taken to the critical bosom. Tastemakers such as Greg James (BBC Radio 1) have backed their music and radio stations have played their music. Working in the U.S., they have plenty of support and visibility there – this combination and transatlantic appeal means they are in a much better position than most of their peers. The fact they have a big backing and on the rise suggests their talent and hunger is in no end of drying up. The duo is always keen to get to new fans and put their all into the music. The music of SIIGHTS has garnered a lot of love in Ireland and has done brilliantly in Scotland; the streaming figures speak for themselves and it seems that life in the SIIGHTS camp is very promising. I know the duo are in the same position as everyone else out there – they have to fight hard and success is not going to come overnight – but the combination of original sounds, experience and close connection makes me feel they will not have to wait too long. Stations like BBC Radio 1 have already backed their music and so, when it comes to new release, they do not have to create awareness. There are other stations out there that, perhaps, have not yet played SIIGHTS’ music. It is exciting to see how far they can go and which markets are yet to own. Fitz and Etherson will be busy getting the single out there and ensuring as many people as possible hear the song. GOT IT has that instant sense of hook and impact so it is quite possible it will rank alongside the best songs of the summer. I am not sure whether BBC Radio 1 has played the single yet but there is every chance it is on their radar. They could get some play on BBC Radio 2 and I am sure there are stations in America that would love to feature the track.
There is Funk and wah-wah cool that comes from the opening notes of GOT IT. Loose and catchy strings and a clicking beat get the kick going and elicit sunshine. The funkiness reigns and compels the listener to get up and get involved. Sexiness and seductiveness weaves and pops from the speakers as the lyrics look at a figure that is enticing from their head to their toes. Whether it is a sweetheart or new acquaintance; there is that sense of attraction and flirtation that comes through. Even before the first line has been delivered, you are captured by the song and involved in everything. The music is polished and pure; it has dirt in it but has enough sheen to get it to the masses. It is a complex production brew but all the notes and sounds hold together sweetly and get into the brain. It seems there is imminent connection and the heroine wants to feel the guy’s head when they kiss – experience that physicality and instant reaction. It is a rather heated and sweltering coming-together that promises something intense. You can feel that desire come through in the vocal: the composition provides plenty of energy and engagement; keeping the listener involved and the body active. Whereas the verse gets the momentum building and paints some vivid and sexy scenes; the chorus delivers the biggest hit and reaction. The words urge for swing and swagger; paen to someone who has that confidence and attractiveness that needs to be exposed. If anything, one can read the lyrics as an expression of self-confidence and pride. Whatever the reason and interpretation of the chorus’ lyrics; you are helpless but resist the electricity and passion that comes through. There have been some big choruses in music this year but SIIGHTS have crafted one of the best in GOT IT. From their name to the single’s title; everything is in bold-type and declared proudly.
There is a blend of simplicity and complexity that occurs in the second verse. The lyrics can be extrapolated and understood by everyone that listens to it. Speaking about missing the beau and not wanting to lose that affection; we can all get behind that and know where the heroine is coming from. The music and vocal connection between Mia Fitz and Toni Etherson is immediate and incredibly direct. Whereas Fitz takes on more of the production/musical duties; Etherson, to me, holds that vocal prowess that covers more emotional ground. Together, they fuse supremely and provide an intricate and multifarious sound. The composition throws bass and keys in different direction. There are flecks and twangs that delight the senses; a blend of Pop and Funk that is very pleasing to hear. Although GOT IT has a very modern sound and will register with fans out there; I hear elements of the 1980s in the music. The Pop legends of the decade, from Kylie Minogue (if not insulting to them) and Madonna, come through and it is a wonderful brew of the nostalgic and modern. Intensity and physicality keeps coming through and the duo are never willing to take the sound down too much. They want to put the song out there and know every note is being heard and danced to. You get a little rhythmic and melodic similarity to Cathy Dennis’ Touch Me (All Night Long). It has that sense of fun and instant memorability that made that song such a hit! Although GOT IT is a sub-three-minute track, a lot of ground is covered and you are compelled to listen to the song again and again. You get an idea of the intentions and story: the heroine has this lust and longing that needs to be satisfied and, when it is taken away, feels the void.
Rather than see departure and loss as a bad thing; she urges the hero to show what they have and there is that sense of togetherness and hope. I feel like the spotlight is turned on the heroine and a sense of sexual confidence. She is not submissive and playing a minor role: the two are on the same level and there is that inner-strength that comes through. Both Mia Fitz and Toni Etherson turn in incredible performances and fill the song with such vivacity and boldness. It percolates and booms; it is a big track that never feels cheap and commercial. It will appeal to all demographics and, unless some big injustice happens, will get a lot of airplay around the U.K. It is clear SIIGHTS are in a great place and making the best music of their careers. It is only a matter of time before they ascend to the mainstream – with tunes like GOT IT, that realisation and reality cannot be argued against. I was engrossed in the song and, not normally one to indulge Pop and get hooked, was affected and moved (literally) by the mood. There is Funk and Alternative sounds coming into play; it is a heady and sensational mixture of sounds that swims around the mind and stays with you for a long time. In a period where durability and memorability are hard to achieve, there is no issue with SIIGHTS’ current jam. They have concocted something that defines the summer and what we need to hear right now. I would be surprised if an E.P. was not forthcoming, considering what sort of material they are producing right now. A fantastic and nuanced effort from SIIGHTS. It is impossible to shift the song once you hear it the first time. It is one of those things that gets into the head and will not shift which is, given the slightly moody weather, exactly what we all need!
I am a big fan of SIIGHTS and love everything they do. Mia Fitz and Toni Etherson are great friends and have that sisterly bond. They are eager and determined songwriters that have made big leaps and are among the most able and varied out there. Lots of stations have already got behind GOT IT and that will lead to increased demand and bookings. I am not sure whether they have U.S. dates sorted but they could get a lot of gigs around the U.K. Having Scottish and Irish roots; there is already that knowledge of the local scene and where is good to play. The duo divide their time between the U.K. and U.S. but they have a lot of support in London. Having spent time in America, there is every likelihood they will get some gigs over there and, before long, they will get more international dates. I am eager to see whether there is more material coming. Perhaps there will be another single in 2018 but I feel SIIGHTS are ready to drop an E.P. They have the momentum and desire so it is only natural that should lead to a three/four-track release. Their brand of music is what we need right now and people will want to see other examples of what they are all about. GOT IT will satisfy the senses and get people talking but, when the song has done its work, there is going to be a hunger for something new. SIIGHTS are always working and striving to be as good as they can be. Each new release sees them take a big step and cover new ground. With a stunning video out and GOT IT picking up celebration and coverage; the remainder of this year will be a big one for the duo. There are some great duos out there but very few who do what SIIGHTS are producing. GOT IT is proof SIIGHTS are among the best forces in the U.K. and will, very soon, get their music to new lands. I feel they could get focus in Australia and that might be a good country to take their music. It is expensive travelling there but there are so many cities and areas that would flock to see them. Whatever SIIGHTS have in mind, I know they will continue to grow bigger and stronger. GOT IT is the sound of the here and now; what we need right now – proof Mia Fitz and Toni Etherson’s SIIGHTS are very much…
TRAINED to the horizon.