full name imogen faye sweetnam works as SEIRENES / faye sweetnam date of birth 17 december, 1988 hometown / residence ewell, surrey / the road
parents beatrice + samuel status free and fine career singer other continued

It took Faye Sweetnam, then known strictly by the unfortunate name Imogen, a while to realise that her parents were not like other parents and her upbringing was just a little different than that of her peers. Not because she was dim as a child or anything. The Sweetnam family just did a spectacular job of passing for normal, with their consistent dinner times and family dog and stable careers. Beatrice worked for the British branch of an American pharmaceutical company, while Samuel stayed at home four days a week writing, and tending to his own shop in London the other three. But they weren't all typical. For example, Imogen's parents met volunteering for the Pagan Federation, not through school or work or anything of that ilk; and the store Samuel ran, well, it was a spiritual shop. But soon after Imogen realised they were witches, she realised they weren't the fun kind like in books or movies. She wasn't going to get any powers, she was just going to have to remember not to use 'Yule' at school.

Despite the fact that Faye's strongest childhood memory is of her, laying in the backseat of her parents' car and listening to Bohemian Rhapsody for the first time, she did not know then that she was drawn to music or planned to have a career in it. She loved listening to her parents' frankly impressive record collection, which evoked more feeling than any book ever did, and having a big (albeit untrained) voice, was the go-to singer at a number of funerals for grandparents and uncles and the like. Still, Faye did not have the drive that a lot of her professional peers claim to have had in their youths; while many knew performing was all-or-nothing for them, Faye took a different tack. Faye was a decent student and had plans to attend university and maybe study literature. Or maybe follow her mother into the sciences. Or maybe become an artist. Faye was, by all accounts, bright and adroit but fairly undisciplined and while her parents assumed she'd outgrow it as she got older, she never fully did. There were many things that grabbed her interest, and while she honed her singing talent at the encouragement of her parents, she always wondered if something better or more interesting might come along. In 2006, she nixed the plan to attend university at all, after moving to London and falling in with a bunch of creatives. It was then that she met and befriended Isabella Summers, who became the sister she never had. It was through Isa's passion for music that Faye devoted hers as well; they became known for performing around pubs and small venues around London.

In 2007, Faye signed with a band, Tempestas and released one album. As always, Faye felt like there might be something better out there, though the band itself was not something she viewed as a negative experience, it was just a decision she realised she shouldn't have made. Deciding that it was better to continue to struggle than stay in a group she felt out of place in, Faye canceled her contract by resigning. To all of her friends and family, Faye had lost her mind, or was being as unreliable as ever. For once, however, Faye was right about the grass being greener somewhere else. Instead, she and Isa and a few other friends decided to legitimately stick together as a band and continued making music together. Faye almost thought Seirenes (the band), would be as ephemeral a project as any other she had undertaken, almost assumed they were making music for fun and creative expression, not that it would get anywhere. But then they had a really solid catalogue of written music, almost enough for an album, and then in a drunken fit of brilliance, Faye followed Mairead Nash into the toilets at a club one night and sang to her a song by Etta James until she agreed to manage the fledgling band.

Although Seirenes first released Kiss With A Fist in the summer of 2008, their debut album Lungs didn't drop until over a year later, in July of 2009. As Faye became dedicated to her career in music, she had wanted Lungs, which she felt precious and protective over, to do well. And it did -- more than she could have expected, peaking at number one in the UK and number two in Ireland. During the height of 2010, it seemed like there was nowhere she could go, no movie or show where she couldn't hear her own voice soundtracking this trailer or that scene, and Seirenes' modest following from the shows and festivals they performed before their debut seemed to triple. For someone who had spent their whole life flitting indecisively between passion projects without a sense of discipline, a three year tour to support Lungs could have been stressful, and often times was -- but Faye adapted, enjoyed the creative freedom, the chance to see the world, and naturally, the fame.

Still deep into the Lungs tour, Faye and the band began working a sophomore effort early in 2010, albeit pretty infrequently, given how difficult it was to write or record from the road. Still, Faye was determined to top Lungs -- not necessarily commercially (although she had no objections if it did), but sonically and thematically. Although offers were made to record and produce their next album in Los Angeles, Seirenes ultimately returned to London to record their second album in the early months of 2011, releasing Ceremonials on Halloween of that year after extensively promoting and performing it that fall to build up hype. Though Faye never voiced her concerns about Ceremonials, she had many fears -- fears that she couldn't match her own ambitions, fears that they would be met with derision and accused of falling into the sophomore slump, fears that they had rushed production too fast, too soon. Overwhelmingly, however, the response was even more positive than their debut, and Seirenes even netted nominations for Grammys, Brit awards, and considered by many publications as one of the best albums of 2011.

The Ceremonials tour lasted another two years; by the end of it, Faye was exhausted and ready to take a much needed hiatus. To her surprise, the label was more than understanding and agreed that she should take as long as she wanted, giving her no pressure to record another album. She imagined that a long, extended holiday on a beach somewhere with tropical drinks would be right up her alley, and for a while -- it was exactly what she needed. However, having spent the last five years essentially on the road, Faye had become accustomed to the structure of touring and the rigidity of having demands to meet. A perfect storm of her own mind going stir-crazy, a writers block that she began to worry she would never shake, and a mutually damning relationship that no one should have been in led to her having something of a nervous breakdown. She emerged on the other side of it with a fondness for transcendental meditation and inspiration for a new album.

Though Faye had released some songs for soundtracks and the band had played shows here and there, June 2014 marked the official reunion of Seirenes, with production of their third album, eventually titled How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful under way. As with the release of Ceremonials, Faye was determined to challenge herself and the expectations people had for the band, this time by stripping back the production and metaphors for work that was more emotionally vulnerable (and also involved about 70% less allusions to drowning). Still, with each single release from the album, which dropped in June of 2015, each video that accompanyed made up part of the Odyessy -- an eventual 7-video art project/short film that explored the chaos and despair during that brief tumultuous period.

Despite Faye's initial flakiness regarding music, let alone anything, she truly believes that she has found her calling; in fact, her desire to constantly push and prove herself is because she can't imagine being rejected by critics and peers, or what would ever happen if interest ever starts to wane in anything coming from Seirenes. Some of that is due to her enjoyment of the excess of fame -- both positively (her ability to be financially stable, help her parents, and be a charitable person) and negatively (she's never fully shed her reputation for being a little wild, a little unstable, for a reason), but also merely because she finds immense emotional fulfillment in a creative career. And also -- not that she'd ever admit -- because she wants to win that Grammy one day. Bad.

media perception The heir apparent of Kate Bush. Or Stevie Nicks. Or Tori Amos. It all depends, really, on what comparison the press feels like making. Still, it's undeniable that Faye (and Seirenes as a whole) evoke those women more than any of her peers, easily. A very big majority of the critical reception of Faye's work is overwhelmingly positive and complimentary of her as bombastic singer and an adept songwriter. However, the same thing that many people love about her is the exact quality that others really, really loathe -- citing her repetitive themes, unpolished voice, and comparisons to the aforementioned women as one big why even bother when you can just listen to the original version? In her own, personal life Faye is known for being a bit wild, unstable and unpolished of a different sort, but it's mostly British tabloids that take interest occasionally in more salacious antics. Tumblr "your fave is problematic" has called Faye out multiple times, mostly for incidences early in her career; detractors on reactionary gossip sites, like ONTD, frequently bring up the same examples in the comments, because the internet never forgives and forgets.