ALBUM REVIEW: Sea Girls – Hometown
Photo Credit: Blackksocks
Second album slump clearly doesn’t apply to indie-rock outfit Sea Girls, especially with the weight of 2020’s hugely successful debut full-length Open Up Your Head resting on their shoulders. Not to mention being the torchbearers for modern British indie in ‘22. However, their sophomore effort Homesick sees Sea Girls returning with something just as special as their first full-length. The band’s storytelling has gained a few years of maturity over their debut, without letting go of the light-hearted euphoria of life, and equally their sound incorporates some of the biggest and most memorable hooks in their back catalogue. Sea Girls are delivering something truly special here with Homesick.
Opener Hometown instantly introduces us to Sea Girls’ adolescence with wide open arms, transporting us back to a time of lemonade, ripped jeans and being seventeen. The nostalgia delivered from this soaring opener gives doses of the familiar warm fuzziness of falling in love for the first time and the rebellious nature we all have as teens. You can take Sea Girls out of London, but you will never be able to take London out of Sea Girls, and Hometown is a testament to that sentiment.
Second track and single Sick follows, and unlike the careless nature of teenage life when the only worries we have are if our crush likes us back and pointless arguments with your best mate, the track explores the endless, mundane cycle life has to offer us with the worries of adulthood. “I’m sick of drugs/I’m sick of bad habits/I’m sick of good looks/Cos I don’t have it” wonders vocalist Henry Camamile in the song’s verses, as plodding drums and whirring guitars offer a sonic representation of the monotony the lyrics have to offer, a prospect that hits the frontman like a tonne of bricks.
First deep-cut offering, Someone’s Daughter Someone’s Son, exposes Sea Girls in perhaps their most vulnerable state ever. Up-tempo drums and buzzing basslines whir away in the background, before bursting to life in the latter stages of the song. But it’s Camamile’s pensive vocals here that reminisce of memories fading and colours running to glory days going. Reflective, candid and mellow in nostalgia, Someone’s Daughter Someone’s Son is most certainly a standout on Homesick.
Surging guitars introduce Paracetamol Blues, before levelling out to a steady pace that laces the remainder of the track. Lyrically, the song calls back to those times spent wasted away with late night chats with friends, spilling your guts out over love-filled troubles and the lack of self-confidence we sometimes carry into relationships, truthfully told by Sea Girls throughout.
Single Again Again, much like Someone’s Daughter Someone’s Son, is carried through by driving percussion and spritely guitars that have the ability to bring to life the rush of euphoria and exuberance we sometimes get out of life. Looking back on Camamile’s teenage years, the first verse sings “In my defence I’m not innocent/I’m not God’s gift, I lack confidence/Daytime TV, the internet/Old coffee cups, first cigarette”. The song is a clear call back to the desire of wanting to seize all that life has to offer you at that age and running with it.
A complete 360 switch up in sound comes courtesy of Cute Guys. The song starts life as a gentle, acoustic leaning ballad that slows down the pace of Homesick completely. That’s until the track takes a turn around the halfway mark. Incorporating the rush of electric guitars that simply smash up the acoustics the song started with, the track charges full-speed ahead at this point, its early, romantic lyrics eventually losing all their inhibition.
Album closer Friends repairs that acoustic guitar Cute Guys destroyed, when it reached the latter stages of that song. Friends is filled with that put-your-arm-around-all-your-best-mates-at-a-festival vibe, forgetting about the world that lays outside of say Reading & Leeds or Tramlines Festival, to appreciate the company you currently reside in. Capturing the good times of life and the quintessential essence of the joys we all live for, Friends is that anthem suited perfectly to those emotional feelings.
Getting a small glimpse into Sea Girls‘ experiences growing up, transitioning between adolescence to adulthood, Homesick serves as a massive, singalong record to get lost in the memories of getting old and being filled with all the good, the bad and the utterly life-affirming experiences that time brings to us all.
Standout Tracks: Hometown, Sick, Someone’s Daughter Someone’s Son, Paracetamol Blues, Again Again
For Fans Of: The Snuts, Circa Waves, Sundara Karma
Written by: Katie Conway-Flood