Clare Siobhan sifts the ashes of a torched romance in her wry new folk-pop single I Built A House With An Arsonist — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
Too many of us know what it’s like to feel like you’re building a relationship with someone, only for that person to burn it all down. Montreal’s Siobhan has been there — and offers a clever, heartfelt take on the situation with her new single.
“I wrote the song as a playful exploration of bad habits, and my own rose-coloured-glasses, benefit-of-the-doubt tendencies in my personal life,” shse explains. “The whole feeling of the song for me is that sometimes you’re so ready to jump into a new adventure that you don’t stop to consider you might burn a few houses down along the way.”
“Oh, I built a house with an arsonist
And I let him pick out the rugs
They went up so fast, somehow I was aghast
When I met him, he seemed nice enough.”
Clare was conscious of creating a Sara Bareilles feel, with heartbeat-reminiscent drums among the pianos and vocals and harmonies. And though the song mostly looks on betrayal with humor, it also conveys deep empathy. In fact, when Clare posted a portion of the song to TikTok before it was finished, the reception was overwhelming.
“People really loved the song, and were relating it to really challenging situations in their lives: Breakups, divorces, difficult relationships, and feelings of personal betrayal from loved ones,” Clare recalls. “What the audience was connecting to was completely different from my own inspiration for the song — I’d written it with a much lighter heart and hadn’t infused any of my own heaviness into the lyrics when I wrote them.”
The TikTok reception ultimately influenced the song in its final form, with Clare honouring the personal stories people had shared with her. “In the final version, I feel you can hear some of that: the driving drumbeat, the swelling harmonies, the emotion I tried to release in the vocals. I really appreciated the feedback from the audience in those early stages of writing, and it helped breathe new life into the song during the final arrangement.”
The song is the third release from Clare’s forthcoming EP Seek The Sun, a work that, as its title suggests, is about optimism and finding a way out of the darkness. It’s a compendium in which Clare reflects on her life so far, meditating on her twenties and that decade’s joys and challenges. Seek The Sun shares a kaleidoscopic folk-pop experience for the modern age, blending genres effortlessly through masterful production and musical collaboration. With the mainstream appeal of Lizzy McAlpine with notes of Feist, Joni Mitchell and Lucy Dacus, Clare delivers her message in a voice all her own.
Siobhan is a genre-blending East Coast artist with a voice beyond her years. With her distinctive, rich alto voice, she paints pictures of love and loss, hope and fear, stillness and change through her deeply personal and introspective lyrics. Accompanied by solo piano, a full band, or a choir of her own harmonies, Siobhan’s music is a folk-pop-soul exploration of movement, growth, and light.