Nicolas Jaar - Sirens

Nicolas Jaar – Sirens

After five years, Nicolas Jaar has finally put out a new album under the metaphorical name Sirens. When I saw the cover, I already had a really good feeling about it. It’s a scratch-and-win cover that reveals one of his father’s works, who is also an artist – depicting a fancy and upscale America from a Chilean perspective. As probably many of his fans know, Jaar has Chilean heritage and also spent some time growing up there before he moved to America. His heritage is really connected to this album and from the first listen you can hear that, with Spanish conversations between Jarr as a child and his father Alfredo dotted throughout the album. When you get deeper into the album, there is also a lot of connotations and references to Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet who ruled for seventeen years. During his reign a lot of people were killed or went “missing”.

If we compare the album Space Is Only Noise with Sirens, you can see that Jaar has matured and his sound has as well. Sirens  is more of a “grown up” record than Space Is Only Noise will ever be. Sirens  deals with the passing of time and modern day society, with the album actually acting as a really good review of our generation. We have all the information we could need at the click of a button, but still, after all these technological breakthroughs, we are blind to so many things that are happening in the world. The track ‘Killing Time’ deals with this blindness and selfishness, commenting on how we are fine until something bad is happening on our doorstep.

If I had to choose one song from the album that strikes me the most it would definitely be ‘No’. ‘No’ is really criticising the state of today’s world – especially American politics. The Lyrics are in Spanish and are actually referring to the referendum in Chile when they had to decide if they still wanted Pinochet to rule or not, the question was asked in a pretty simple form: “Do you want Pinochet to stay for eight more years?” and there was a responsive campaign answering “No” lead by leftwingers – mostly artistic types, where they turned the  negative connotation of the word into something positive. His track is referring to that with its lyrics: “We already said no but yes is in everything,” giving us the feeling that we are returning to our old ways again, for example Trump in the USA.

With his last track ‘History Lesson’, he is just making fun of our society in general: there is a really happy instrumental background while the lyrics say that we don’t learn from our mistakes, we just remember them for some time and then after time passes we do them again. Society is going through changes, but we still go around in circles. We have our ups and downs every day, but do we actually learn from it? Today’s wars and all the other terrible things that are going on in the world right now were also happening years and years before as well. Do we learn anything from our mistakes? Do we even care?

Release Date 30/09/2016 (Other People Records)

Nicolas Jaar  Official | Twitter | Facebook

Patricia Pajk

Mostly listening to hip hop and electronic music but I'll listen to anything. I always try to find something new and explore music as much as I can. If I have to put myself in some kind of music genre box, I would put myself in "good music" box. P.S. I'm maybe Croatian but I'm living in a land of glitter, unicorns and festivals.