The Sidleys, a well-loved indie band from the Washington DC area, had been writing and recording music for over a year before the shutdown of 2020 and never imagined that their new album would debut at such a turbulent and difficult time in history. 

 

Breathless is The Sidleys’ third and latest album, and it encompasses the full range of grief, loss, death, rebirth, healing and joy within its 11 original songs. The band itself was formed in Bethesda, Maryland in 2013 by married singer/songwriter/performers Annie and Steve Sidley, who were joined a few years later by their sons, Sean, Colin and Ian, three talented musicians in their own right. A tumultuous two years of family crises including the illness and death of their family’s matriarch, a near-death experience for Annie, along with deep bouts of anxiety and depression experienced by the entire family led to the writing and recording of the songs on Breathless. 

 

The Sidleys have earned a reputation for creating music that feels both modern and classic. Filled with soaring melodies, intricate arrangements, soulful vocals and inspired musicianship, the songs on the new album are possibly even more eclectic than their previous two records, Bittersweet and The Love You Make. The title song, “Breathless”, is very much the heart of the album. With its yearning vocals and heartfelt strings, it recounts both Annie’s own out of body experience in the hospital, as well as Steve's last farewell to his mother. It's a song about how hard it is to say goodbye, and also how hard it is to let go when the time comes. The other 10 songs run a wide emotional and musical spectrum including the joy of new love (“I Didn’t Know”), career frustrations (“Break Your Fall”), our desire to be soothed even as adults (“Lullabies”), healing from past trauma (“Unbroken”), and even a true story of a supernatural encounter (“Ghost”). The album’s first single, “Lately I Don’t See You Anymore”, is a cheeky and infectious rocker that tells a tale of romantic abandonment but could also be a modern anthem for our current state of social distancing. The concept for the song’s video, which came to Annie in a dream, was directed by Jason Siemer. Using classic visuals, theatrical performances and dark humor, the video helps put the song in a very different context.

 

The Sidleys’ new album, Breathless, will be available on Friday, June 12 for download and streaming on all major platforms, and by CD on their website, thesidleys.com.