Mysterious brother duo Sons of Raphael have shared a new single, “Siren Music,” which follows their recent cut “He Who Makes the Morning Darkness.” They released an EP back in 2018 titled A Nation of Bloodsuckers via Because Music (Christine and the Queens, Justice) and a double A-side single, “Eating People / Rio,” on Moshi Moshi Records in 2017.
There’s no album to speak of yet, but Sons of Raphael’s off-kilter pop/rock and theological lyrics are more than enough to perplex. Initial interviews with Ronnel and Loral Raphael were colorful to say the least: one saw them get interrupted by their agitated bookie and others contained zany stories like the one behind their “Eating People” music video—they invaded a real-life church service at an international boarding school, where Ronnel remained for another year and had to endure teachers’ rebukes of “You’re going to hell.”
“Siren Music” returns to their eccentric world of religious imagery and off-the-wall pop songs. The song chronicles a godless earth where “angels in straitjackets dwell,” and there isn’t even a speck of hope or altruism to cling to: “So what truth can I believe / In a world that wants to be deceived / I’ll just save my own soul.” It comes with a dramatic accompanying video, which was directed by Loral and is their second collaboration with cinematographer Manuel Claro (Melancholia, The House that Jack Built).
Ronnel says of the video:
The video opens with a quote from an elegy in the book of Lamentations: ‘Joy has left our hearts; our dancing has turned to mourning’. It portrays the downfall of God’s people who have sinned and in turn have lost their honour, no longer bearing the gifts of God. The ‘Siren Music’ video echoes this gloomy picture of a nation in disgrace, lamenting the loss of God in our time, through the medium of dance. It becomes a visual representation of the song that questions how our language has become spiritually obsolete, ‘Throats parched with empty words, like wadis a thirst for God’. A city becomes a mirror of the human condition as a resurrection towards God is envisioned, ‘Magic carpets carry our souls, moonwards a city rises and falls’, articulated in the violent choreography evident in the video. Nonetheless, it becomes apparent that the truth is too frightening to deal with, ‘So what truth can I believe in a world that wants to be deceived’? In turn, the fate of the human condition remains the same, ‘nameless we lay dead on the floor.’
Listen to “Siren Music” below.