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Sarina simoom

Country of origin:


Type of music generally:

Alternative, beautiful & fierce, ethereal, evocative/eclectic, rock


Most recent release, Love Songs for Joseph (digital ep, 2010)

See also:

Sarina Simoom seems to have two MySpace pages: here and here

Sarina Simoom's ReverbNation page


Kate Bush, Cat Power, Nina Simone, Cocteau Twins, Kristin Hersh...

Covers/own material:


General comments:

Sarina Simoom has been around in various forms since the early '90s in the Washington DC area. They are now based in Denver and have a lot less of a punk sound than they did in the earlier days. Jenna Herbst writes all the songs and the emotion that comes from this woman and goes into her music is insane. Very intense, dark, haunting stuff. Hearing her always touches me a in a deep way.... I love their new cd, but there are songs that didn't make it to the cd that I love, too. That I hope will be recorded. That maybe you could catch if you saw them live, though lately they only play around the Denver area (including opening spots for Jonatha Brooke and Cat Power). The band is really tight, all really serious about what they do. I really think that anyone who has a remote interest in this general genre of music will get something from them.... I hear they just got a new female bass player, though I don't know her name. (

Recommended first album:

  • thread bone bare (2000)
  • The Fawn (digital ep, 2008)
  • Love Songs for Joseph (digital ep, 2010)

thread bone bare

Release info:

2000—Velveteen Records


See CDBaby

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Jenna Herbst—lead vocalist, violist, and guitarist
Brian Balestrieri—lead guitarist and backup vocalist
Todd Bills—drums and percussion
Chris Pearson—bass (on tracks from the garden)

Guest artists:

Tim Eggert—bass (on tracks from the inside)


thread bone bare is one of my favourite discs of the year. And I suspect I know why: it's unlikely to work for most of you, but something about Jenna Herbst's vocal manner just reminds me of Becca Boucher from The Mercy Bell—an Australian band, obscure but very close to my heart. Still, quite apart from that, Sarina simoom have plenty going for them. The keywords here would be: "quiet intensity". They seem to rely on creating the mood rather than catchy hook to draw the listener in—those tunes are not immediately obvious, but often quietly beautiful if you're willing to give them a chance. My favourite is probably the closing track, "thread"—I can't stop myself from hitting the "repeat" button when it's over, it's just gorgeous! Sparse, clean arrangements, sometimes with just a slightly jazzy feel to them consist largely of strummed guitar and the bass/drums section, with occasional violin used to good effect. But Jenna's voice is the dominating instrument here. I haven't seen them perform so I could be completely off-mark, but I imagine this rather unassuming looking person you probably wouldn't notice in the crowd, but up there—is she standing in the spotlight, or is it her passion, her intensity shining? It's still holding up against the double test of time and familiarity. And the closing track, "thread" gets my Song Of The Year award. (

Their first CD. So worth the wait (and I have been waiting). The band here is amazing, very tight, wonderful arrangements. And great production. Jenna Herbst's songwriting and soaring vocals (her voice gets compared to Kate Bush's a lot) are the highlight for me, so beautiful, so expressive. The songs really pull me in somehow. There is a certain spiritual quality here.... My personal favorite is track 3, "Tree", though I love what they do with the Hebrew prayer, "Hine Ma Tov". And the song "Love of Grieving" has always held a certain significance for me. (

Sarina Simoom's debut album is a rare and beautiful thing. Singer Jenna Herbst's nimble voice scales unbelievable heights easily. The music is both elegiac and uplifting. This is an album that the 4AD label might have put out in the eighties. It would fit perfectly with the Cocteau Twins best works from that era. The bands sound is less ethereal and more earthy than the Cocteau Twins though. The peaceful nature of the music is frequently undercut by darker strains. This is remarkable debut. (

Wow—this album has totally grown on me. The sound is a little odd and unexpected, dramatic, emotional and melodic but the tunes take odd and wonderful turns. Highly recommended for anyone who like the slightly unusual. (Neile)

Thanks to Jessica Byers for work on this entry.

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