ARTIST : SEA GIRLS

ALBUM : OPEN UP YOUR HEAD

LABEL : POLYDOR

RATING : 7.5/10

WORDS : CHRIS PRENATT

COVID-19 may have dampened our plans for the summer (and technically all of 2020, depending on where you are from in the world), but that doesn’t mean that those fun summer vibes have to suffer, too. While those days of having fun at summer music festivals are currently sweet, sweet memories, Sea Girls’ debut album Open Up Your Head brings those fun times back tenfold. 

After a successful 2019 which made them stand out from the crowd and four EPs with several beloved singles, the London alt-pop quartet Sea Girls (named after a misheard Nick Cave lyric) are pulling out all the stops with their stellar debut Open Up Your Head. The 14-track album is the soundtrack to that one summer music festival that you wanted to attend before, well, the world went into a rapid tailspin due to that cursed corona. Catchy, entertaining, and all-around bound to put a skip in your step, Open Up Your Head is one hell of a debut. 

huge tunes and uncomplicated charm shine bright to cover up the standard alt-pop stylings as they sing about young love, heartbreak, and the fact that growing up is literally hell

Vocalist/guitarist Henry Camamile’s chops radiate huge Brandon Flowers of the Killers energy, with his voice booming his bandmates’s melodies. It’s like his voice was born to be on the radio. And while he ain’t Mr. Brightside, his lyrics are quite good and show signs that he’ll grow into a great songwriter in the future (not like he’s already one).

But let’s get one thing out of the way first: Open Up Your Head isn’t original in any way. It’s a bit generic but their huge tunes and uncomplicated charm shine bright to cover up the standard alt-pop stylings as they sing about young love, heartbreak, and the fact that growing up is literally hell. 

It’s a good record, but it proves that they can refine themselves a bit for the next one. Pretty solid debut overall

The opening track “Transplant” is where the Killers vibes radiate the strongest, but that all quickly dies out when The Cure / Mumford & Sons Delta era-esque tones on “All I Want To Hear You Say”. Dealing with wanting to have others respect you while you don’t do the same for yourself, it’s easily one of the songs that will hit home hard with the youth.

Things get poppy with their Walk The Moon sounding “Do You Really Wanna Know?”. It’s a great dance song, and Camamile’s writing (with a little help from Max Wolfgang and The Vaccines’s Justin Hayward-Young) dealing with insecurities (“Do you really wanna know / What I’d change about myself? / Do you really wanna know / Who’s been messing with my health?”) makes this one a powerful track. No wonder why it was Annie Mac’s ‘Hottest Record’ on BBC Radio 1 not so long ago. 

Other great tracks off the album include “Call Me Out”, the best song Atlas Genius never wrote, “Violet”, where Sea Girls sneak in some Gaslight Anthem moments into the chorus, and “Moving On”, the last song which ends on a high note with a minute long instrumental. 

Overall, Sea Girls were able to create a fine alt-rock album for our washed out summer. And throughout the 50 minute runtime, you’ll probably crack a smile and think about the good old times before the pandemic hit. It’s a good record, but it proves that they can refine themselves a bit for the next one. Pretty solid debut overall.

Open Up Your Head is out now Polydor

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