Although Australian indie poppers San Cisco are technically new friends of PHILTHY MAG, they are great friends of our longtime friends Chaos Chaos, who hit up Johnny Brenda’s two years ago together on one of the best “pop”-tours-that-are-still-legitimately-amazing bills we’ve seen in recent years. San Cisco have since returned to the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection and, in a recent chat, drummer/vocalist Scarlett Stevens admits that she and San Cisco are as fond of Philly as we are of her lovely band: “We really like it. There are lots of cool vintage shops and lots of great barbecue food at Johnny Brenda’s.”
San Cisco are currently on a US tour and will be returning to Johnny Brenda’s this Wednesday, July 1st. They’re touring behind their sophomore LP, Gracetown, an album named for a cozy costal town in Western Australia, which Scarlett tells me she thinks a lot more people desperately need to visit. The album follows-up their 2012 self-titled debut and would seem to expand on the quartet’s competencies. The album boasts the band’s keyboard-heavy soul pop and dance rock, in addition to anthemically epic piano pop and coyly sophisticated power pop (I actually described the record’s best track, “Bitter Winter,” as the perfect blend of Kate Nash and Butch Walker.) During our chat, Scarlett Stevens confirms that Gracetown does, indeed, represent an evolution in both the band’s sounds and process of writing songs.
“Everything about this album is different. Some of the songs on the first album had been around since the band’s existence. With this album we were starting from scratch. We hadn’t recorded for so long so we were figuring out what worked for us. When we started out we were trying to write big pop songs, but in that process, with the producer, we realized that, instead of trying to write huge songs, the band should do what we do well, which is storytelling and being very heartfelt.”