The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - Sarah How­ells



Since its in­cep­tion 11 years ago we have watched West Aus­tralian indie trio San Cisco grow up be­fore our very eyes. It’s hard to be­lieve it has been nine years since these friends from Fre­man­tle broke through into the col­lec­tive con­scious­ness of Aus­tralian mu­sic with their catchy pop tune Awk­ward. On San Cisco’s fourth al­bum, Be­tween You and Me, the band stays true to its up­beat pop roots, with lush in­stru­men­ta­tion on tunes such as Shine and a bevy of songs that will have you bust­ing moves in your so­cially dis­tanced lounge room. It’s not just one big party across this al­bum, though. There’s a no­tice­able growth in the song­writ­ing and lyri­cism com­pared with pre­vi­ous records, wrap­ping sto­ries about re­la­tion­ships, love and loss in quiet re­flec­tion at times. The nu­ances of nos­tal­gia and en­tirely re­lat­able mo­ments show a ma­tu­rity that goes be­yond what has come be­fore. We have all had those mo­ments of heart­break re­flected in Skin (“You say you still love me but in a dif­fer­ent way”), the yearn­ing of On the Line (“could you love me, one more time?”) and the hon­est mo­ments re­flected in When I Dream (“I’ve lost a few good friends lately and I think it’s my fault not theirs”). As the mem­bers of San Cisco have moved through their early 20s, their ca­reer, and to­wards Be­tween

You and Me, they have ma­tured as peo­ple and as song­writ­ers. The self­aware­ness they have gained adds lay­ers to their mu­sic I didn’t even re­alise were miss­ing be­fore. It’s rare for artists to make the tran­si­tion from those awk­ward (par­don the pun) early al­bums to a more ma­ture sound with­out a few cringe-wor­thy mo­ments, but San Cisco has man­aged it. The sound of the band has re­mained full of synth sounds, quirky har­monies and fun up­beat songs, but we also hear more of where these songs be­gan on this record. Quiet, acous­tic-driven tunes such as the al­bum’s fi­nale and ti­tle track take us straight to singer Jordi Davieson’s bed­room: “I was clean­ing my room today, found a box of let­ters you wrote to me. I read them one last time and threw them away.” The in­stru­men­ta­tion is sim­ple, the har­monies are soar­ing and the sim­ple sen­ti­ment is beau­ti­fully writ­ten: “Our love was my favourite melody / Now our love is just a mem­ory”. It’s easy to imag­ine that this is how all San Cisco songs and sto­ries be­gin, be­fore Josh Biondillo puts his synth spin on them and Scar­lett Stevens gives the fi­nal nod for re­lease.

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