Siri Neel was featured here a few months ago with the song ‘Disappear’ but I managed to omit something in her back story that is very important. (In my defence I think she might have done her own PR for it and possibly chose to omit this story deliberately).
Anyway, and having laid the foundations of her music career with ambitions beyond her native Denmark, what started out as a little cough ended up with her losing her voice as a result of nerve damage that would prevent her from singing for the next six years. After a series of examinations by various specialists, the doctors prescribed “complete silence for three months”.
She says that the lack of communication for so long affected her mental state and role as a mother, leaving her to feel inadequate, and it was heaped on top of a bout of postnatal depression, and possibly pandemic lockdown misery as well.
Accordingly she asked herself the question “Who am I without my voice?” The implications of blindness and deafness are evident to the seeing and hearing population, but being effectively struck dumb is an outcome few people have probably given much thought to.
For someone who has always relied on music as an outlet for her abundant emotional life it could have been a disaster.
The struggle to come back was lengthy, but on 6th October she releases her first single ‘I bet you know’ from her forthcoming debut album, produced by Jakob Groth, and one that is inspired by the melancholic pop scene of the 80s, and especially early Kate Bush work.
She says, “My new single is about daring to show your vulnerability to those closest to you and at the same time trusting that vulnerability will be embraced. That courage is important for love”, while adding that she hopes that her story and music can help people talk more openly about their feelings.
When I think of early Bush I go straight to songs like ‘The Man with the child in his eyes’, (her best) but don’t expect that here. Siri did indeed sound like Bush on her previous single but this one is far more upbeat and poppy, despite the solemn lyrics, with a sing-a-long chorus and it is even danceable.
It is almost as if she determined that in order to treat both the physical injury and the psychological damage in order to make this come back she had to think happy thoughts and sing happy songs. As Polly Scattergood put it in ‘I hate the way’, “My doctor says I have to sing a happy tune”.
As it turned out, Polly didn’t. But Siri does. Big style.
Her new album will be released in 2024.
Find her on:
Photo: Julie Montauk.