Holiday Tour 2018$34.50 – $44.50 Buy Tickets
Singer-songwriters Deb Talan and Steve Tannen began writing together the night they met and soon formed the indie band, The Weepies. On the strength of their simple yet insightful songwriting and distinctive harmonies, they quietly sold more than 1.5 million records with over 54 million streams on Spotify, 25+ million views on YouTube and earned over 110k social media followers. They married, had three children, rarely toured but continued to release their music–five records over seven years.
Just before Christmas 2013, when their youngest son was 17 months old, Deb Talan was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer. She was in chemo by New Year’s Eve.
In 2014, Deb beat cancer and The Weepies recorded the best album of their career. Coming back from the edge had sharpened their skills and focus. At 16 songs and almost an hour long, SIRENS showed a band at the height of its powers.
The couple was unable to travel while Deb was in treatment so they worked at home, inviting guest musicians to record remotely from wherever each musician happened to be and this resulted in an unlikely superstar backing band. Players from across the spectrum jumped in, including: Pete Thomas and Steve Nieve of Elvis Costello’s band, Gerry Leonard who had worked with David Bowie, Rami Jaffee of the Foo Fighters, Tony Levin from Peter Gabriel’s band, Oliver Kraus of Sia fame and Matt Chamberlain from Pearl Jam. As well, veteran Weepies compatriots Frank Lenz, Eli Thomson, Jon Flaugher, Meg Toohey, Whynot Jansveld and a horn section from New Orleans were added to the incredible mix.
The prophetic “No Trouble” was written prior to learning Deb’s diagnosis. “I don’t need no trouble, but sometimes trouble needs me,” sang Steve! Deb’s vocals were recorded during her first weeks of chemo. The couple continued to write and record throughout treatment, with Deb providing several key vocals far into the year, including the title track “Sirens,” captured in one take on a day where Deb really only had one take in her; her vulnerability is tangible on this cut.
“We just kept going,” says Deb. “We also had 3 small children, were homeschooling and the effects of chemo blew whole days out of the water.”
The band was able to use their limited studio time as somewhat of an escape, leading to some of their most joyful tracks ever, including the genre-bending “Fancy Things” and the upbeat “Early Morning Riser,” aided mightily by a fantastic rhythm section and horns. There’s plenty of heart and comfort for long time Weepies fans too–-the deceptively simple “My Little Love,” the gorgeous “Brand New Pair of Wings” and the straight ahead poetry of “River From the Sky.”
After The Weepies had officially finished the album and Deb was in recovery, they continued to record remotely with their phenomenal backing musicians for fun, eventually adding a cover of Tom Petty’s “Learning to Fly” and a version of Irish balladeer Mark Geary’s “Volunteer” to the final album.