Marjana Semkina announces second solo album Sirin

Marjana Semkina
(Image credit: Kate Demina)

Iamthemorning singer Marjana Semkina has she will release her second album Sirin on May 31.

It's the follow-up to 2020's lush debut Sleepwalking and 2021's Disillusioned EP and again will be self-released by Semkina and is available to pre-order through a new Kickstarter campaign. 

Semkina has also released a video for the song We Are The Ocean, which you can watch below. Like much of the album the new single has been colored by the effects of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

"This song was inspired by all of my Russian friends coming out to protest against the war when it started, despite the fact that there was a very good chance they’d get arrested for doing so – a lot did in the end," Semkina explains. "I wrote lyrics to this song on a train to one of those protests in London, Trafalgar Square in early March 2022."

The conflict crept even closer to home for UK resident Semikina when her Iamthemorning musical partner Gleb Kolyadin was arrested after playing a gig in Thailand with the popular Russian band Bi-2 and threatened with deportation back to Russia, before eventually being allowed back to the UK, where he currently has a Resident Permit from the UK government through a Global Talent visa.

"I was never very political and I always tried to keep my art within the realms of lore, literature and imagination," Semkina adds. "But when events like the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine happen, it is impossible - and I'd even say, unforgivable - to stay silent and do nothing. Thankfully being based in the UK I feel rather safe speaking out against the current regime and I do have a platform that I can use to try and show the world that Russians disagree with the actions of the Russian government, and there are so many of us that only wish for this to be over. I'm just trying to show it in the most artistic way I can muster."

Sirin features an array of guests including vocalists Jim Grey from Caligula's Horse and Antimatter frontman Mick Moss, as well as Kyros bassist Charlie Cawood, Agent Fresco drummer Keli Guðjónsson and Iamthemorning's live guitarist Liam McLaughlin.

"Sirin is a mythical creature from ancient Slavic mythology, half-bird half-woman, she's a harbinger of bad luck and death, and it's believed that if you meet Sirin a big catastrophe will happen - except in case with the events surrounding this album it's already happened. Sirin cries and mourns for humankind, and nothing can be more appropriate in this day and age," the singer adds. "Sirin is one of very few creatures that can travel between worlds - a world of gods of light, a world of dark deities (in some versions an alternative to the underworld) and a world of mortals. This felt appropriate because the album is quite diverse in sound and some might think parts of it sound happy, but the subject matter is almost always quite morbid, which creates a contrast that I enjoy."

Semkina, who also performs in the dark folk prog band Maer with Cellar Darling's Anna Murphy, can currently be seen and heard in the new video for Dutch symphonic rockers Blackbriar's new single Moonflower, which is featured in this week's Tracks Of The Week.

You can view the artwork and tracklisting for Sirin below.

Pre-order Sirin.

Marjana Semkina

(Image credit: Press)

Marjana Semkina: Sirin
1. We Are The Ocean
2. Lost But At Peace   
3. Anything But Sleep (feat. Jim Grey)           
4. Pygmalion  
5. Angel Street           
6. Gone           
7. Death And The Maiden (feat. Mick Moss)  
8. The Storm  
9. Swan Song  
10. This Silence This Dreaming

Jerry Ewing

Writer and broadcaster Jerry Ewing is the Editor of Prog Magazine which he founded for Future Publishing in 2009. He grew up in Sydney and began his writing career in London for Metal Forces magazine in 1989. He has since written for Metal Hammer, Maxim, Vox, Stuff and Bizarre magazines, among others. He created and edited Classic Rock Magazine for Dennis Publishing in 1998 and is the author of a variety of books on both music and sport, including Wonderous Stories; A Journey Through The Landscape Of Progressive Rock.