review | SISU at Bottom of the Hill



Photo Courtesy of Steven Perlin

Breaking up and starting over has never looked so polished and clean as it did in Sandra Vu’s performance of her debut solo album, Blood Tears, which is about the hardships and insecurities of trying to find one’s voice.

Sandra Vu strongly lived up to the name SISU, a Finnish term that can be translated loosely to “determination” and “perseverance” in her impassioned performance at Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco on Sunday, September 22. The rocker-chic front woman, who opened for The Dirty Beaches, took hold of the stage and sleekly transitioned between vocals, guitar, and flute. She proved she was deserving of the complete creative authority she held over this project. Her display of animation helped prove that Blood Tears is a showcase of herself as an artist, untainted by the influence of outsiders, and it is a shining success.

The set was accompanied by a black and white video installation that mirrored the darkness of her new music video “Harpoons.” While the essence of the performance can be described as haunting and dark, the wide range of musical styles is difficult to pinpoint in a single category. The new album is a combination of grunge and angsty girl rock with a synthy dream-pop undertone, which all happens to effortlessly flow together.

“Blood Tears is about the anxiety of starting over, the hangover of failure, breaking up, insecurities, self doubt, finding a voice, finding that you have a voice, speaking up and singing louder,” said Vu in an official statement announcing the LP. Sandra Vu is a seasoned drummer (Dum Dum Girls, The Raveonettes, Boredoms, Dirty Beaches), and has taken center stage, opening on tour dates for Cat Power, Marnie Stern, DIIV, and Metronomy. The SISU tour is coming to an end with these dates left:

09/24 – Portland, OR – Mississippi Studios
09/25 – Seattle, WA – Barboza
09/26 – Vancouver, BC, Canada – Biltmore Cabaret
09/29 – Santa Barbara, CA – Muddy Waters

The album is available for purchase on the artist’s website.

Stay tuned for our exclusive interview dropping next week.


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SISU Official Website

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