Since their single “Awkward” was released last year and landed at No. 7 in Triple J’s Hottest 100, Perth’s bubble of indie cuteness known as San Cisco have been riding a high.
Recorded over the winter, their self titled debut record attempts to distill their adorkable hipster image, with fairly mixed results. Featuring the vocals of both Jordi Davieson and Scarlett Stevens, the record bounces between the energetic and the confused.
Opening track “Beach” thrums along with thick synths under Jordi Davieson’s gentle croon, but disintegrates into an incongruous chanting chorus, clearly aimed at festival crowds but missing the crucial hook.
Tracks like “Fred Astaire” and “No Friends” work better, when San Cisco lighten up and remember the formula that made “Awkward” so damn catchy. Bright guitars, easy vocal melodies and child-like excitement make for a awfully fun song. Single “Wild Things” is the best of the slower songs, bound to be a radio summer staple.
Other songs don’t fare so well. “Hunter” never gets past the lilting, dreamy vocals and “Lyall” tries a little bit of everything and ends up in a mess. Different musical ideas pop up all over the place, and are often left hanging and clashing instead of being sculpted and restrained.
Davieson’s vocals, usually a playful yelp, fall into a whiny heap on “Stella”, and Scarlett Stevens doesn’t get much time to exhibit outside of the chorus chants.
San Cisco is a sophisticated piece of indie pop to be sure, but San Cisco promised us such a chaotic, joyous, summer lovin’ album. Unfortunately, this isn’t it.
Key Tunes: “No Friends”, “Wild Things”
San Cisco is released on November 23.