PJ Harvey, Cranberries, The Jesus and Mary Chain
Indie pop, post-punk
" PJ Harvey and Gwen Stefani enter a bar... "
Blending indie-pop with 90s alt rock and post-punk revival, the Estonian band Sibyl Vane has built a growing live reputation based on driving guitars, tight rhythms, eerie atmospherics and distinctive vocals by their front woman and singer/songwriter, Helena Randlaht. Her charismatic image and recognizably unique voice suits the material perfectly. The band (named after Oscar Wilde’s tragic hero in “The Picture of Dorian Gray”) rose from their local music scene to border-crossing sensation in 2012, after the release of their debut album Love, Holy Water & TV. Mainly pop-rock, although relied heavily on metaphors and imagery borrowed from the blues and country music, it was a fully realized piece of work.
In 2017, Sibyl Vane’s self-titled album came out. Once again, Helena’s trembling and fragile vocals are ideally complemented by Heiko Leesment’s fast-paced bass and Hendrik Liivik’s ferocious drumming, which makes even the slow ballads sound like exercises in controlled fury. There’s accessibility in the band’s delivery as well as cleverness to their sound, and this is something they also showcase in their latest release, “I Don’t Drive” (2018). The fact that they’re somewhat genre-defying, anti-pop and yet pop, but always creating a fine little synthesis, well, that is the band’s biggest charm.