Welsh-born, Finnish-based singer/songwriter and musician Jenny Stevens, a.k.a. The Ukelele Girl is the creative mastermind behind the songwriting project Jenny Stevens and The Empty Mirrors, which sees Stevens pairing dark-alt pop with quirky visuals.
Last year, Stevens released the The Distance Between Us EP, an effort that featured “The River Rolls On,” an atmospheric track that seemed indebted to the likes of Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Cure and Cocteau Twins.
Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site you may recall that she began the year with “No, I Wouldn’t Call It Love,” a bit more uptempo song that expresses nostalgia and aching longing. Her latest single “Beneath Smooth Waters” is a slow-burning and brooding track that sees the project adopting a 90s trip hop sound: glistening, reverb-drenched synth arpeggios, sinuous bass lines paired with Stevens’ achingly plaintive vocals. According to Stevens, Bjork’s “Play Dead” and several other tracks were a major inspiration on the song — but to my ears, I’m reminded of Dummy era Portishead.
Stevens goes on to explain that the song is “also a literal siren song — don’t go too near the water’s edge . . . “
The trippy accompanying visual features a beautiful siren calling a random pedestrian closer to the water’s edge.