Cristina Cano has been sharing her varied talents with the city of Portland for years. Her presence has rocked with a graceful softness as well as a passionate fierceness, all on her command. She has collaborated with Ryan Sollee of The Builders and the Butchers on his Albatross project and been a part of Sallie Ford’s outfit in the past.
Under the moniker Siren and the Sea, Cano has been crafting, recording and performing her own music since 2010. Her songs have delightfully shifted and transformed under various influences, finding a natural flow alongside a synthy, electronic palette on 2017's This Time With Feeling. Released roughly one year ago, the first sonic peak into Cano’s world since her debut full-length is this premiere of “Secrets.”
“This version of the song is the only recorded version publicly out until the EP is released!” Cano proclaims excitedly.
“I recorded a concept EP with Justin Longerbeam that will be coming out later this year, that has to do with the movements of a hurricane, both literally and figuratively,” Cano explains. “It is a five-part album, and each song sort of shifts into different aspects of a storm. First part is the calm before the storm. Second, the beginning rev up of the storm. Third, ‘The Eye of the Hurricane.’ Forth, ‘The Epic’ or the ‘oh shit, this is the storm’ part! Fifth and finally, the ‘next day’ part when you groggily wake up to a sunny day and look around and see all the destruction from the storm. ‘Secrets’ is that last song,” she tells.
“I’ve been finding that my exploration lately has been about the uncomfortable but excitingly unpredictable nature of the present and the ‘eye of the storm,’” Cano muses. Knowing that Cano was born in Hawaii and grew up in Miami, her thematic survey of inclement weather makes a lot of sense.
Recorded live at A/D Agency Recording Suite for release as part of Banana Stand Media’s Unpeeled series, the video features Ethan Fox Tucker (of Saroon) on bass and Ayal Alves (of Saroon and Kelli Schaefer) on organ. “Tucker and Alves are both incredibly talented, and each have their own style, and I love that their individual vibes contribute to the groove of the music we make in Siren and the Sea. They are so easy to collaborate with, and I hope they work with me forever,” Cano lovingly expresses.
On “Secrets,” a haunting organ sustains a constant oscillating wave as Cano’s rolling piano chords act as the gentle whitecaps pointing the surf towards the shore. The three-piece builds with that vibe, slowly burning through the fog, until Cano’s staccato piano and stand-out lyric: “We can be alone without speaking. What went wrong?”
“‘Secrets’ is that feeling when you’ve been drinking a little too much wine,” Cano sets the scene. “It’s very late at night, and you embellish your language a little too much, say some things (like secrets) you didn’t mean to let out of your cage, and flirt with painful aspects of the past knowing full well you probably shouldn’t. It’s trying to move forward while processing what happened, wanting to keep things to yourself, but also not being able to not talk about it.”