Ben Abraham describes his sound as “cinematic folk”, a title which perfectly sums up the sweeping, delicate nature of his music. Hailing from Melbourne, Abraham has managed to snowball to international success in the past two years, despite only releasing his first album in February 2016. That level of success sounds improbable at first, but after listening to his debut Sirens it’s completely understandable. Abraham delivers a suite of delicate, folky songs which are guaranteed to captivate almost any audience.
Sirens took seven years to write and a further two to record, and the time invested has definitely paid off: there’s an intimacy and vulnerability to Abraham’s voice which works perfectly with the cavernous production. Take the titular opening track, which sees Abraham’s voice swirling gently around a simple synthesiser line, beautiful in its simplicity. In the vein of other Australians like Missy Higgins or Gotye (with whom Abraham has recorded and performed), Abraham’s Australian accent is pure and unbridled. The lyrics are as dreamy as the music itself: on love song She, Abraham sings that “She is my skin/Holding my body/covering my bones”, over some exquisitely fingerpicked guitars.
Sirens is a gentle, dreamy album, full of whispers and echoes. The lingering subtlety of the trumpets on To Love Someone, for instance, or the delicate guitar of Somebody’s Mother, speak of longing and loss. It’s beautifully and deliberately constructed, with attention paid to almost every detail of production, from the amount of reverb to the husky timbre of Abraham’s vocals. Even those less inclined towards the indie folk genre will appreciate the subtle complexity of Abraham’s music.