What’s the first thing that comes into your head when someone mentions Australia? Long, flowing beaches full of white sand, barbecues piled with shrimp and burgers, vegemite on toast… How about musically? Sure, there’s AC/DC, and if you’re metal-savvy, you’ll know Oz is a hot spot for the heavy at the moment. San Cisco, however, completely buck that trend - hailing from Fremantle, a city a few miles outside of Perth, their newest EP, Beach, pretty much encapsulates summer.
Lover kicks things off with the scat-singing that propelled debut single Awkward into the public eye - nothing wrong with sticking to what you’re good at, of course. It’s a happy, bouncy song that skips from ear to ear like the corks on the Aussie fedora, and wouldn’t sound out of place at a summer pool party. Next track Golden Revolver keeps this trend going; one can almost feel warm sunshine poking through as lead vocalist Jordi and drummer Scarlett chant the chorus atop an insouciant cowbell.
Title track Beach never threatens to break the formula, bumbling along very much in the same vein; a strong undercurrent of bass carries the whole song on its way. The childlike vocals in the chorus arrive with absolutely no warning, and the juxtaposition drags the song back down into pop’s mucky paws. Closer Reckless tries a rather different tack, feeling almost like a comedown to begin with - it threatens to be the token acoustic track, but thankfully an electric edge, in the form of a keyboard riff, saves the day. Be that as it may, the song is a more heartfelt, lyric-based affair than the earlier songs would suggest.
While their youth and exuberance may not be to everyone’s taste (it does have downsides like weaker vocals, for instance), San Cisco set out to provide a sampler of the Fremantle summer in musical form. And if this is truly their be all and end all, in the four tracks that make up Beach they deliver perfection, proving that there may well be more to the indie-pop group than just one catchy YouTube hit.
Beach by San Cisco is out on December 10 via Columbia Records.