Track Review

Chabliz – When Sirens Call

Taken from the latest album of the dutch pop noir band Chabliz, this song and the video coming with it is both a music track and a short story.

Directed by the finnish/polish multitalent Catself, the video of this track is really not your usual three minute meaningless pop journey within nowadays’ landscape of the music industry. For this track, I need you to be open for interpretation, you need to let the music and pictures have an effect on you. Give yourself time to wrap your head arouund the message and the different angles this project can be seen from.

What I love most about the work of Chabliz and Catself is its diversity, and this coincidentally is also the reason why it’s kind of hard to give you a review of the track and the video. I don’t really want to pave the way for any given interpretation here, what I write about here is just one of oh-so-many ways to digest the art of this collaboration project. Filmed at a coastal area and processed with what I only can describe as “melancholic color grading”, you see three people (the band members) who are lying tied up and unconcious at the ground. The main theme and the lyrics are about Sirens calling with no chance to resist or chance this fact. The band members wake up eventually, following the Sirens call down the beach to the water while a man tries to find and save them but fails because he is too late.

That would be the script of what you can SEE in a nutshell, but of course that is not what the song wants to transmit. Following the lyrics, it’s crystal clear to me that this is a song with a deep and very personal meaning to the band. They lost a close friend and found one of many vents to cope with this loss through their music. For me personally, the music and the video starts a very complicated discussion about the ‘what if’s in life. The pictures triggered an unexpected reaction in me, since they made me question a lot of things. What if they never were able to break their ties? What if there would have been other things to hold them back? What if the man had been there earlier to save them? And I even caught myself thinking: is the end really final? Could anything or anyone have been able to change all of it in the end? And is the sirens call really a bad thing per definition?

See, the real beauty in this project lies in triggering a very high level of self reflection. Life is complicated, and we find ourselves asking all of the question the song raises over and over again over time, having most of them unanswered in all our lives. There is that grey zone in which there isn’t necessarily a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer to everything, and the track somehow made me realize that there are things you cannot control, things that are beyond your reach. What if I was one of the band members, drawn towards the sirens call? What if I was the late savior? What if I ultimately was the one being responsible for the sirens call? As all of these questions are circling in your head, the dramatic tension of the track is rising through the music of Pim van Riezen, Marcel Peters and Ap de Ree and those signature vocals of singer Petra de Winter. This artistic concept even amplifies the reflective feel, and all of a sudden the listener is able to exactly have a glimpse of the bands feelings when dealing with this topic. You gotta love music for being able to transmit that, and you gotta love those rare musicians out there who are taking their time and putting this amount of work and thought into their projects to really deliver so much more than just the notes.

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Florian Maier

CEO/Producer at kms music studios. Beatmaker. Sound explorer. Music enthusiast. Critic. Writer. Husband. Father. All stacked up in 1.88 m, 80 kg.

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