Cold Hands, Warm Heart 

Siberian's Fire and Ice

When listening to Siberian, it's possible you might think to yourself for just a moment, "Have I heard this before?" The Seattle band makes comfortable, familiar indie rock, with reverb-ed, glacier-like guitars that fill up the vistas and valleys. Meanwhile, Finn Parnell's impressionistic lyrics are drawn out over long, sustained vocal notes. It's the Radiohead model, scaled down and brought back to earth so that it's played by mere mortals again; in fact, it sounds like it's being played by your good friends, a bunch of guys who are cool and nice, so much so that you might even let one of them date your little sister.

It's this combination of dramatic grandeur and friendly accessibility that makes Siberian's music so effective. Says Parnell, "The band really just came together as a mishmash of friends who all happen to play music. We never really took it very seriously until a demo we recorded ended up getting radio play." The attention was deserved, and things continued to go their way: Their album, With Me, came out on Sonic Boom last year, and they've landed a coveted slot at this year's Sasquatch! Music Festival in May.

But for all its radio-friendly sheen, there's a darker undercurrent to With Me, hinting at sinister edges uncovered by digging through one's past. Characters are tied down to beds and floors; water fills rooms and flows through people. Even the album cover is both beautiful and creepy, as Parnell points out. "Andy Kehoe's painting reminded me of an old Twilight Zone episode about a folk singer that goes out into the backwoods country to find inspiration, and meets a pretty girl who sings this beautiful eerie song that foretells his death."

Live, however, the group's camaraderie comes to the forefront, and they're downright goofy on stage. They can be comfortable and relaxed since the music speaks for itself. "We try not to take ourselves seriously. Even though some of the songs are pretty dramatic, we're really lighthearted people," Parnell says. "Though, at times it's a little awkward to go into a serious song after cracking up."

Tags: ,

Comments (0)

Subscribe to this thread:

Comments are closed.

From the Archives

More by Ned Lannamann

Staff Pick Events

Most Commented On

Top Viewed Stories

All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC

115 SW Ash St. Suite 600
Portland, OR 97204

Contact Info | Privacy Policy | Production Guidelines | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy