Album Review: Open Up Your Head // Sea Girls

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From selling out shows, playing at festivals, to being featured on BBC Radio One’s Future Sounds, it didn’t take long for this 4 piece band to enrapture the indie music scene. For the last couple of years Sea Girls have brought unforgettable melodies and true-to-life lyrics. Now, Sea Girls have released their debut album Open Up Your Head, with 14 instantly-loveable tracks. This album encapsulates the flavour of old school indie-rock from 2009, with synth filled tracks similar to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ It’s Blitz! album to the fun-loving spirit of Biffy Clyro’s Only Revolution.  

Though Sea Girls’ distorted guitar riffs, warm synths, lively drum beats and deep basslines may not be the most original sound within the genre, what the band lacks in originality they make up for with energy. It’s important to note that indie isn’t a genre that constantly asks for originality, but it is a genre that asks for anthems. Audiences want songs they can chant and mosh to, and despite Covid-19 putting gigs and festivals on hold, Open Up Your Head is a perfect album to listen to if you’re craving that live music experience. 

Open Up Your Head features Sea Girls’ most renowned tracks such as their 2017 single ‘Call Me Out’, and more recent single ‘All I Want To Hear You Say’. Along with these crowd-favourites, the album also consists of fresh new tracks including the heart-wrenching piano ballad ‘You Over Anyone’ and the vibrant acoustic number ‘Lie To Me’. The former track does a brilliant job of showcasing Sea Girls’ ballad-writing talent as well as lead singer Henry Camamile’s impressive vocal abilities. Aside from this singular emotive ballad, the rest of the album is characterised by Sea Girls’ usual colourful beats and joyous tunes. 

Lyrically, the tracks in Open Up Your Head are simplistic, but the simplicity is vital to the universal nature of the stories they tell with their lyrics. They know how to write about love. The closing lines of opener ‘Transplant’ has Camamile softly sing “We were shining, we were making mistakes / Till your heart changed, mine stayed the same / Whatever happened to your heart didn’t happen to mine”. The softness of the vocals add to the delicacy of the song’s topic: of the person you love falling out of love with you. In relationships we want someone who we can have those messy nights out with, we want someone we can shine with and grow from, which is what we get from “we were shining, we were making mistakes”. Then we’re hit with the harsh reality of dying love as the song then goes “Till your heart changed, mine stayed the same / Whatever happened to your heart didn’t happen to mine”. You can hear the longing sensation of wanting this person back and wishing that there was a way things could go back in time to that syrupy sweet spot every relationship has. 

The closing track ‘Moving On’ has a complete vocal contrast, with Camamile sounding raspy as if he is struggling for air, singing “Every love is different / Their one that one this one / I still shine but darker, you just made it harder”. It feels as though ‘Transplant’ and ‘Moving On’ are about the same lover, that unhealed wound, whilst the tracks in between are attempts at sticking a bandaid on a broken heart: they can’t quite stem the bleeding. “Every love is different / Their one that one this one” feels like a nod towards the bandaid romances written about throughout the album, they tried to heal the wound, but didn’t. The following line “I still shine but darker, you just made it harder” is about trying to shine on your own but not being able to escape that darkness of knowing that the person you used to shine with, is no longer a part of your life. Open Up Your Head is an honest tale of trying to escape from that one person you wish you could’ve been with forever.  

This is an impressive debut album that shows off Sea Girls artistry as indie-rock musicians. Adding in songs like ‘You Over Anyone’ have allowed room for Sea Girls to produce not only indie-anthems, but powerful ballads that we will hopefully be hearing more of as the band progresses.

Words by Emmie Cosgrove


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