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First Watch: Stranger Cat, 'Sirens'

As singer-producer Cat Martino's electronic side project, Stranger Cat makes bright, skittish electro-pop that belies its dark foundations. Martino's latest single, "Sirens," pairs high-energy production with soaring vocals that sound like a dare to be free. It's a dreamy message rooted, it turns out, in nightmare, and it's that nightmare Stranger Cat explored in translating this song to video.

While she wrote "Sirens," Martino was suffering from a bout of insomnia that would end up lasting four excruciating months. The combination of exhaustion and sleep medication resulted, she told All Songs Considered, in a hallucinatory state of half-sleep where she heard sirens through her apartment window and felt beckoned by them. The sirens became her Odyssean Sirens, beautiful and dangerous and calling her out into the night. Those visuals dominate this video, which features ghostly dancers overtaking Martino as she tosses and turns in bed. The song remains Martino's plea and a directive to free herself from the forces that bind her, but the video takes a much darker look at what she's up against.

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