Tuesday, September 29, 2020

MEET... Sea Girls

Press junkets are virtual, live gigs are impossible, and consensus suggests that consumers are finding comfort in the familiar. However, to say that Sea Girls have struggled to push their debut album Open Up Your Head would be grossly unfair. The fourteen-track record peaked at number 3 in the album charts this August, having been preceded by a string of singles including the euphoric All I Want to Hear You Say, and indie singalong hit Damage Done.

The Polydor backed four-piece are notorious on the live scene for their energetic shows. With a string of gigs booked from February next year, the pandemic seems unlikely to quell their steady yet certain rise. Formed five years ago, Sea Girls had fans singing their lyrics back at them as early as 2017, a breakthrough year in which they played TRNSMT amongst other festivals. 

Since then, the all-male set-up have notched an impressive trio of billings at Reading and Leeds. Stormzy’s headline Glastonbury set seemed to put the first or last nail in the coffin of guitar band dominance; however, while rap enjoys its moment in the spotlight, Sea Girls are riding the subtle but certain wave of indie-rock support currently enjoyed by bands such The Magic Gang and Marsicans.

Rachel Aroesti, writing in The Guardian, described the Henry Camamile fronted band as ‘soothingly predictable’. There is some small tragedy in how astonishingly generic their sound is. Contrarily, there is great prospect in their competence; what Sea Girls do, they do exceedingly well. Their guitar-driven choruses pastiche the likes of The Wombats and The Killers, while Camamile’s soaring melodies are an obvious nod towards Britpop and post- Britpop commercialism. In spite of his charisma and obvious talent, Camamile is lyrically predictable, disappointing even: Love, growing-up and more love form the content of Open Up Your Head. 

However, fans of lofty riffs and catchy chord progressions will quickly forgive the lack of grandiloquence. Sea Girls are still in their genesis; the existentialism can come later.

Genius their debut certainly is not; however, there is something to be said for an accomplished rather than meteoric start. Mediocrity is pregnant with the promise of more to come. Whether the world will tire anytime soon of twenty-something males slouching with disenfranchised poise in front of 1970’s wallpaper remains very much to be seen.

However, at least for now, Sea Girls’ catchy tunes and enlivening impression ensures they will be a festival mainstay across the UK and Europe for many years to come.

- Fred Kelly

Twitter: fred8kelly

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