“What this record lacks in character, it makes up for in feel good anthems, delightfully repetitive choruses and a real sense of hope.”
WORDS BY ALI GRICE
Beautiful boys. Endearing personalities. Angsty songs allegorical of an idyllic upbringing and a few long gone misfit teen years. Open Up Your Head is a story that has been told countless times, only this time round it’s hooks are catchier, it’s got that Henry Camamile charm and it fills a hole in our festival-less hearts.
The bedroom indie record kicks off with singalong anthem Transplant, playing with themes of heartbreak and moving on with a subtle synth driven hook and faint The Killers-esque guitar work flitting in the background. Somewhat thematic of the album, this three and a half minute song is copy and pasted across the rest of the tracklist, creating a very cohesive but bland listening experience (see Damage Done and Do You Really Wanna Know?).
Standout singles All I Want To Hear You Say and Call Me Out affirm their power pop stance, filled with pretty ambience and crunchy guitars that lay a minimal yet potent backdrop for the infectious voice of Camamile. Heavier synth lines indistinguishable from guitars drive the tracks into dancing territory, conjuring images of Tik Tok teens rehearsing ten second skits in front of their phones, plugging the newest Sea Girls song while they wait for the likes to flood in.
Occasional moments of brilliance are scattered throughout the record, from Closer closing out with an indulgent drum driven outro, to the fuzzy guitar tone and quasi-emo feel to the Kodaline influenced Ready For More and the token melancholy piano ballad of You Over Anyone. Connect these dots and there is an awful lot of potential for the Polydor proteges to rock the boat.
Indie boy personalities come and go. From the dark sexual tension of AM-era Alex Turner to the bubblegum warmth of Glass Animals’ Dave Bayley, we have seen some really standout characters. A consequence of vocalist driven bands is that it can appear as if the instrumentalists are superfluous and interchangeable, however Camamile fails to draw enough interest to himself, rendering Sea Girls a band teetering on the edge of midday tent festivals slots. What this record lacks in character, it makes up for in feel good anthems, delightfully repetitive choruses and a real sense of hope.
Although a powerful force, Sea Girls are blurring the already smeared lines between indie and pop. Keenly filling up the gigantic boots of Billboard dominating contemporaries Imagine Dragons and Bastille. Their tenacity and passion is obvious, but to truly thrive we wish Sea Girls would delve into some more psychedelic or emotional material, to give them an ounce of something novel. Open Up Your Head is outstandingly average, as if AI took all the summer hits from the past five years, amalgamated them together and assigned four beautiful boys to spread these songs to the world. A factory fresh One Direction for the indie heads… but there is no doubt we’ll have it on repeat.
Check out the album here.