SIIGHTS Are Finding Joy And Seeking Freedom On The Other End Of Letting Go

SIIGHTS Find Joy And Seek Freedom On Their New EP. Read their interview with Zara Hedderman for Northern Transmissions.
SIIGHTS Photo via the Artist

It’s been four years since SIIGHTS shared their self-titled debut EP and in the time that’s followed, the duo have accumulated millions of streams, embarked on their first headline tour and continued to develop their sound. Having met almost a decade ago whilst working in Los Angeles, thousands of miles away from their respective homes in Ireland and Scotland, writing songs for other artists, Mia Fitzgerald and Toni Etherson’s partnership feels so natural that it’s impossible to imagine either of them making music without the other.

Their latest EP, Through Thick and Thin, once again demonstrates the duo’s undeniable propensity towards crafting propulsive pop-hooks which set a solid framework for songs shaped by personal experiences that are delivered with an endearing universality. In the brief time we get to spend with the pair across these new five tracks, which seamlessly shift between bright and brooding in mood, SIIGHTS pack in an impressive (but not overwhelming) number of life experiences and the emotions that go hand-in-hand with heartbreak, grief and finding one’s voice. As much as their lyrics feel cathartic to their author, Through Thick and Thin is a vital companion to listeners. Prefacing the EP, the duo note that these songs are “about finding the joy, seeking out the freedom that lives on the other end of letting go and being present in the moment”. Certainly, they have managed to effectively create a sense of unity through their resonating perspectives on different relationships which is why SIIGHTS have been able to build a strong sense of community with their fanbase.

Ahead of the release of Through Thick and Thin, Northern Transmissions spoke with SIIGHTS about the process of making their latest EP which saw them working in Los Angeles, Dublin, London, Stockholm and New York, plans for their long-awaited debut record and more.

Northern Transmissions: Congrats on your new EP, Through Thick and Thin. Tell me about the writing and recording process. I know you worked in a number of different locations for the sessions and also collaborated with Jenn Decilveo and Bastian Langebaek.

Siights: Making these songs was a lot of fun as we were traveling quite a bit and playing shows throughout the studio process. A lot of the EP was made with just us, our instruments and our laptop which is how we make a lot of our music, but we also really wanted to push the boundaries of the sonics on this EP so it was a great time to have some collaborators involved. I think naturally anytime you collaborate in any way you get a new perspective through the other person’s eyes which is always interesting.

NT: A lot of the songs on the EP come from places of personal growth and coming through lots of different challenging life experiences. In the song “Words”, a prominent theme is the trouble of being able to articulate certain thoughts and feelings. How helpful has music been as a way for you to have the space to express how you felt during a particular moment or to discover things about yourself?

Siights: What you said there is actually such an important part of creating any type of art. We’ve both always used songwriting and music as a way to process or express what we’re experiencing. In this EP, we really let ourselves go there in a new way. In a song like “Fragile”, for example, those lyrics were very hard for us to write and that particular song was quite difficult to record as we both had moments where we were holding back tears trying to record our vocals. But it was equally cathartic. What we find so amazing about art and music is the connection to others. If you, the songwriter, can be totally raw and honest in your lyrics we hope then that someone else listening to our music can relate and hopefully feel less alone in their own experience.

NT: How do you find sharing songs with people close to you? “Fragile” is particularly personal in how you show appreciation for your parents.

Siights: It can be hard sometimes. Especially with that song, in particular. It’s been something of our Roman Empire at home. We held off on playing that one until very recently for them as we knew it would be hard. Usually we’d play them our songs during the mix process, and gauge their reactions because our siblings and parents are very musical which can sometimes help.

NT: In a broader sense, how does it feel to be so open and vulnerable to audiences both in the recordings and when you’re singing the songs in front of them at your concerts?

Siights: When we first met, we were so aligned with why we wanted to make music and what we envisioned for our art and ultimately, sharing our experiences is the only authentic path for us. We really want to help people feel less alone as life can be very messy at times. We’re just trying to navigate it the same as everyone else so we hope that by sharing our experiences – the good and bad – we can bring people together. We want our shows to feel like a safe space and when we’re being open and vulnerable, to have people also feel that and share that connection back with us in the room is the most incredible feeling.

NT: Through Thick And Thin is going to be the first of a 2-part EP project. What can you tell me about the second part? Does it follow similar lyrical themes? Why did you decide to break the work up over two EPs?

SIIGHTS: Yes it is! So after we finished Through Thick And Thin we were so inspired that we just kept writing. We were going through such a transformative time in our own lives during that period, it felt very much like a full circle moment. The second EP is slightly different. It’s all about radical self-empowerment and really celebrating yourself. Some of the things we’ve learned through these last few years, especially as collectively it feels like a huge percentage of the world is living life online, is that there’s a lot of comparison to unrealistic beauty and success standards and pressure to conform to those ideals. We really wanted to remind people that they’re beautiful just as they are and try to encourage people to just be themselves and fall in love with their life.

NT: Have you been thinking about SIIGHTS debut album? Is that something you want to take your time crafting to ensure that you make a strong impression in introducing yourself with that?

SIIGHTS: We really have and writing for a longer body of work feels very natural to us, it’s something we’re in the early stages of at the moment. We’ve loved the process of releasing EPs and they feel like they’ve been a very natural intro to who we are but naturally, there is a process of growth through everything as we evolve as people and songwriters. We can honestly say the best is yet to come and we’re-very excited about that!

NT: Do you feel there’s a different kind of pressure you put on yourself when creating songs for an album over an EP?

SIIGHTS: Good question! We feel as songwriters, you’re telling a story and digging deep to do so in an honest authentic way. For us, we approach all our songs that way, however on a longer body of work like an album there is more of a story to tell in order to take the listener on a journey with us. We definitely think that there’s a big expectation around a debut album for every artist but we’re definitely excited about it.

NT: You recently finished your first headline tour. How was that experience for you? Did you find that you put more pressure on yourself with each show knowing audiences were coming specifically for you as opposed to being the opening act?

SIIGHTS: We did! It’s kind of weird but we actually felt less pressure in one way because we were so excited. We’d been thinking of putting on our own shows for so long and we knew the experience we wanted to create for everyone in the room. So even though we love supporting other acts and playing festivals just as much, your own shows have a different type of energy that you get to share with everyone in the room. It’s honestly a feeling and experience that is unmatched! We can’t wait to do more.

NT: In “Fragile”, you sing “One thing I’ve learned in life is there’s no time to waste.” What are some of the goals you’d love to achieve with SIIGHTS in the next few years?

SIIGHTS: Thanks for mentioning those lyrics, that song means a lot to us. We can’t wait to do more headline shows. To build our live show into what we really envision and be able to share that with people around the world. We can’t wait to tour more and visit more countries. Of course, our debut album is a huge goal that’s very much on our mind at the moment. We want to continue writing and building a community and hopefully get to meet more people in person that connect with our music. Collaborating with some artists is definitely on our mind also.

NT: Finally, what are you most excited about Through Thick and Thin coming out and people being able to hear the songs?

SIIGHTS: It just feels amazing to have this EP out. We played some of the songs live for the first time on our headline tour so anyone who came to the shows got to hear them. We hope that people will find something for themselves in these songs. We also want to continue to try to help break the stigma around mental health and hopefully make people feel less alone through our music. Also we are currently finishing up some surprises for after it comes out so make sure you’re following us on social media and join our discord family!



Looking for something new to listen to?

Sign up to our all-new newsletter for top-notch reviews, news, videos and playlists.