Australian indie pop band San Cisco scored a major hit in 2012 with the release of their second EP Awkward. The title track was played on radios around the world and garnered instant affection from its listeners. Their self-titled album released later that year showed fans that they weren’t just a band reliant on a few hits, but could produce an album rich with quality from the first track to the last. Their songs are poppy and endearing to the point that even when they sing about breakups or stalkers, its impossible not to smile and dance. After the success of their debut, a lot of anticipation formed around the release of their sophomore album.
However, this year’s release Gracetown reassured fans of the band’s quality. Despite playing to many of the same themes seen in their older songs, the new album shows a definite development and maturity in the songwriting. The album is full of relatable lyrics, possesses touches of funk, is perfect for a party, and the entire time definitive of the sound the band laid out in their first releases.
San Cisco is currently on tour in support of this new album. I was fortunate enough to attend their San Francisco show. If you like to dance and have a good time, I recommend going to a show. Singer and guitarist Jordi Davieson was kind enough to take a moment to answer some questions for this edition of What’s In Your Luggage?
What one item do you always need to pack no matter where you’re going?
Jordi: Probably my phone, we have everything on there. Itinerary, music, camera, emails, etc.
Where is your favorite place to play a show?
Jordi: I love old theaters, not only do they look really cool but usually the acoustics are good as well.
Are you ever surprised with the reception you receive from the crowd and the massive global following you guys have garnered?
Jordi: I am always very pleasantly surprised by our crowds’ reactions. We have such lovely audiences.
If you could only bring one book and one album to read and listen to for an entire tour, which would they be?
Jordi: Book: ‘The Old Man and the Sea’. Album: Frank Ocean, ‘Channel Orange’
What’s your favorite way to relax on tour?
Jordi: Going for a run is always a good way to wind down. You spend so much time sitting down or sleeping when you’re on tour, you get a bit of cabin fever.
I feel like the new album is for the most part in line with the original pop sound heard on your first EPs, but it also seems like the songwriting has matured in some ways and you have songs that are unlike anything I’d heard from you guys previously. Do you think there is a big difference or a transition going from your first songs as a band into the songs on the new album? If so, what inspired this transition or change?
Jordi: There were songs on our first album that I wrote when I was 13 years old. I think our music has matured and grown at the same rate we have as people.
What is one band you think more people should be listening to?
Jordi: Methyl Ethel, a great Perth band that supported us on our last Australian tour.
The first time I listened to the new album, I noticed hints of newer indie pop bands like Vampire Weekend, what artists would you say have influenced you guys?
Jordi: The Turtles, Isaac Hays, Arctic Monkeys, Charles Bradley, Kanye West
What’s one place you guys haven’t been to that you want to tour?
I would be really keen to play a show in New Zealand or a festival in Bali
Where do you consider your home away from home?
Gracetown, Western Australia.
What’s a hidden gem of Western Australia that if I were visiting I definitely should not miss out on?
Jordi: The northwest is one of the most beautiful parts of the world I have ever experienced. It’s where the desert meets the ocean. Try to get up there, but you really need to find someone who knows the area well.
I read that the new album was mostly written while on tour, in hotel rooms and in vans. Did having to do that change the creative process at all?
Jordi: We never really have any set way of writing a song, which I think helps to create diversity between each song. Josh writing parts of the album on the road really helped the creative process.
The music video for ‘RUN’ is one of the best and most original videos that I have seen in a while. What was the inspiration for making it?
Jordi: We knew we wanted to work with filmmaker Matt Saville. We tried not to overthink the clip too much and we just spent the day doing silly stuff in the basement of an old shopping centre in Fremantle. The short clips that are cut between the band were made by some of Matt’s favorite film makers.
Where is the band’s next destination?
Jordi: Tomorrow we go to Philadelphia and then play our last show of the tour in NYC. (As of 6/30/15)
What does traveling mean to you?
Jordi: I think the unknown is really exciting, every time you begin a tour you know there are going to be memories made.