Ready to dive into a more vulnerable layering within their music, San Cisco made a conscious effort to deliver something that had a heavier personal attachment than their previous record ‘The Water’.
The end result is the dreamy and retrospective ‘Between You And Me’ that takes listeners on a sonical exploration of the complexities of inter-personal relationships. While the lyrics do have some weight behind them, the dynamic Perth trio layer the reflective content with signature San Cisco production which feels dreamy, bright, fun and thought invoking. It’s a bit of a journey from start to finish, but that’s exactly what they want to convey.
I recently chatted to San Cisco’s lead vocalist Jordi Davieson about what they wanted ‘Between You And Me’ to represent in their discography, and reflected on the creative process behind ‘Shine’, ‘Alone’ and ‘Tell Me When You Leave Tonight’. Check it out BELOW;
THOMAS BLEACH: ’Between You And Me’ is a collection of slick and funky songs that hears you bringing out a sense of nostalgia and having a bit of fun with the foundations of these tracks. With this being your fourth studio album, what was your goal as band to create within this and how it would differentiate to anything you’ve done before?
JORDI DAVIESON: From the get go we really wanted the structure and the base of every song to be strong. With our record ‘The Water’, we wrote the whole thing in the studio which is a pretty stressful scenario, whereas with this record, Josh and I wrote the bones of it in our living room over the space of 2 years. We really went through the demo process and once we got a really strong idea we would then bring Scarlett in who would take it in a different direction, and then together we would finish it all off.
I really wanted to take my time lyrically and with the way the songs are put together, and have a really deep connection with this record, which was kind of lacking for me with ‘The Water’. I kinda relate ‘Between You And Me’ with ‘Gracetown’ because it had a similar writing process, and weight behind it.
TB: Well looking back at your albums, what would say was the portal song that really inspired this next chapter sonically? Is it something off ‘Gracetown’?
JD: I was actually talking with someone about this the other day, and I think our portal song for ‘Between You And Me’ would actually be ‘When I Dream’, which was a standalone single that came out after ‘The Water’. It was interesting because we wrote that song, put it on a hard drive, and didn’t touch it for like 2-3 years. We wrote it the same time that we wrote ‘Run!’. And then someone on our management was like “you guys need to try and get this song over the line”. We were a bit unsure at first, but we finished it, and it’s been one of best singles we’ve ever released. For me, I think that really pushed me in the right direction as I really love that sort of music. So I would say that was our portal song.
TB: ’Shine’ is a really strong embodiment of this experimental and fun nature you’ve put at the heart of the album. Can you explain how this song creatively came together?
JD: This song had so many iterations in itself. It started off as an acoustic guitar song and it was quite slow, and then it turned into a weird 90’s heavy rock song before going back to an acoustic song, to then going to a Silverchair inspired guitar song. And then it just died. We didn’t think the song would ever get finished, and we sort of gave up on it. We got back go Perth after recording in Mullumbimby, and we were inspired to work on a few more songs for the record, so we got our bass player Mitch and our friend James Ireland together and picked this song back up. We reworked it with all the bones we had already laid down, and then recorded it live, and when we did that it finally clicked into place. It took so long to get there. We don’t usually record a whole song live, so it was really fun to do that. It gave it more energy and flow doing it that way.
TB: At the heart of these songs there are some vulnerable and honest moments. So what would you say is the most vulnerable moment on the album for you as a songwriter?
JD: I think the title track ‘Between You And Me’ and the song ‘Flaws’ would be the most vulnerable for me. They are pretty real. I wrote both of them ages ago when I broke up with my first love, like five or six years ago, and they never got on the album that we did at the time. So we were playing around for songs for this record and I was like “guys, come on, listen to these songs! I think they are good”, and then they finally got on this record.
TB: ’Alone’ and ‘Tell Me When You Leave Tonight’ have these dreamy tendencies that immediately draw you into the emotional delivery. What was inspiring you sonically there?
JD: I think they are quite dreamy! For me I think it’s hard to see them for what they are now as I’ve known them for so long, and I just think of them as the song that I originally played on my guitar when I wrote it. Josh and Scarlett were a lot more involved in honing the sound, and how it was all packaged up, whereas I was more engrossed in lyrics and melodies.
With these songs we just wanted that vibe of West Coast, Americana, driving through the desert with acoustic guitars. That real bad orientated, slick and interesting production. And to be honest, I think ‘Alone’ would be my favourite song on the album.
TB: Why did the song ‘Between You And Me’ feel like the perfect representation of this album and where you are at as a band currently?
JD: Well I did something that I have done a couple times in the past, and I saw the phrase ‘Between You And Me’ and I was like, “that’s a sick album name”. So I then wrote a song with that phrase in it, so then I could call the album that name *laughs*.
I loved the concept of that phrase as people always ask me what our songs are about, and what I like to write about, and to be honest I’ve always just written about the different types of relationships in my life. And I’ve always thought I should be more political and write about other things, but I ended up coming to the conclusion that I just fucking write love and relationship songs, and that’s okay as I find them really interesting.
The phrase ‘Between You And Me’ represents the personal layers in the album, and how each song is something I want to say to you, but it’s just between you and me.
TB: This COVID-19 isolation period has inspired some people to pick up a new hobby, or find a weird new obsession. So what has been something you’ve picked up or obsessed over during this period?
JD: I started going to the gym *laughs*. That’s so lame though to say that you’re now into going to the gym, isn’t it *laughs*. But I’ve also actually started getting into cooking a lot more and watching YouTube videos of Nonna’s making hell traditional pastas. That’s my vibe right now!
‘Between You And Me’ is out now!