San Cisco bubbled up to mainstream attention with the oddball effervescence of ‘Awkward‘, a twangy indie-pop tune with crossover appeal. It seems like just yesterday but in fact it was six years ago. The then fresh-faced frontman Jordi Davieson now looks like a Belgian shrimper, and the zavy sheen has been replaced by something more authentic.
New single ‘When I Dream’ lacks the instant gratification of their breakout but then it feels like more of a song than the chorusless two-chord ‘Awkward’. The writing too is a lot more vivid and the music feels lived in – in a way which can’t be faked.
The pace has been dialled back. I do miss the funky thrum of ‘Fred Astaire’, the tempo-hopping single which remains their defining track. However this is the only song that really lifts the lid on San Cisco themselves, and sheds a little light on their reality beyond the colourful narratives which occupy their songs.
The instrumentation is far richer too, vivid, swelling, and sweet-natured. It has a ‘I drove all night’ roadtrip rock sort of vibe a lá Damn The Torpedoes era Tom Petty or side 2 of Tango In The Night.
They’ve long dabbled in the Strokes / Vampire Weekend mileau, but with ‘When I Dream’ it feels like they’ve discovered something new entirely, and something all theirs.
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