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Album Review: Between You and Me by San Cisco

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San Cisco is an Australian indie pop band that actually started under the name of King George. The band is composed of three different key members that usually switch off on different instrumental duties. If you listened to one of my latest podcast episodes, you heard that I first learned about them through an Apple Music recommendation. Their third album, The Water has definitely been a favorite of mine, but they moved in a new direction for their latest studio album, Between You and Me.

The first track from the album is Skin. The track starts out slowly with a piano and string section. You do eventually get your guitar and other layers of string instruments, but it is a slow and gradual build. After about a forty second introduction, you are greeted with the familiar vocals from San Cisco. However, this is definitely a toned-down and more mellow approach than what we heard on their last album. On this track, he talks about missing the contact he had with his lover, but he knows that the relationship is ultimately over. While I'm not totally digging the track, some of the guitar elements remind me of the band Smith Westerns.

On the Line starts out light with some playful electronic notes, then opens with the energetic guitar parts. This is also the longest track of the album, just over five minutes in length. The track is definitely more playful like their older work, but still holds to the same concept of the previous track and talking about relationships. This track talks about trying to give a relationship another try, even when your friends tell you not to. However, you know that this relationship isn't going to go anywhere, even if you give it another go.

Reasons keeps up with the 80s-esque vibe from these past few tracks. It definitely has 80s inspiration, but with some more modern electronic bits here and there, especially during the chorus. This is also a track that has been growing on me. As I was going through a few listens of the album, I didn't really like this album much, mostly because it was so different from there 2017 album, but this is definitely a track I can get behind.

Messages opens up with a danceable bass groove. However, there isn't anything new instrumentally at this point. It sounds different from the other tracks, but the instrumentation has remained the same throughout. I'm not really digging the vocals, especially the 'echo' or 'callback' vocals since they just seem too lazy in my opinion. However, she talks about how she is going to eventually become a distant person and will fade away like a 'temporary tattoo.'

Shine is a quick two and a half minute track on the album. It's also the shortest track on the album. This is definitely one of their more electronic pieces on the album with the running arpeggios opening up the track. It does eventually cut out, but it's one of the more feel-good tracks. When this person is trying to comfort someone, they say that they are okay, but they know they aren't as happy as what they used to be.

Alone definitely has more of an acoustic feel to it with the wall of guitars and other string instruments at the beginning. It definitely seems like one of their more stripped back pieces since it's mainly acoustic. The drums don't even come in until the first minute of the track. The real beauty comes with the harmonies during the chorus. While it isn't much, their voices just seem to fit together so well. They talk about thinking of the good times with this one person when they are alone and by themselves. I'm also a bit surprised by the studio fade at the end since that's starting to disappear in the music industry.

When I Dream also starts off with an acoustic feeling but quickly fades after the quick fifteen-second introduction. It reminds me of some of the older classic rock tunes with the rawness and production of their sound. The band actually talked about being inspired by Fleetwood Mac and the Eagles for this track. They keep on the feeling of missing this person and only getting to see them in their dreams. They also talk about losing some friends, which could have to do with not wanting to hear the relationship issues.

Gone starts off with a grand entrance of bells and your regular guitars and drums. You do have your moments of quiet and solitude, but the chorus is really where the grand moments come in. I'm a bit surprised why it is layered like this, but it is definitely one of my favorites from the album. You wouldn't think there would be a bright and happy part with them talking about a person being gone, but it works out for them.

Flaws definitely tones it down with the eerie flute-like instrument and soft opening. I did not think I was going to like this track at first but it's definitely growing on me. While it's not like a high-energy outgoing track from their discography, it's definitely an easy-going acoustic track. On this track, he's being vulnerable and saying that he has flaws. He just needs time for himself and doesn't want this person to wait for him to find himself.

Tell Me When You Leave Tonight keeps the soft and quiet tone from the past few tracks, but definitely adds on with the harmonies and extra instrumentals. It just seems like it is a complete shift from the previous track, however, at least with the lyrics. The last track he was trying to find himself and this track, he just switches back to the feeling of longing for someone. He just wants to leave with this certain person for the night.

The last track from the album is the title track, Between You and Me. I also wouldn't expect them to close the album with such a short track since it's less than three minutes in length. The last track of the album just seems like more of an acceptance track. He talks about how he loved this person to the best of his ability, but he just keeps it between him and that person. He also talks about how their love is just a distant memory now.

While I was a bit worried by the similar-sounding tracks at the very beginning, I was definitely more relieved to hear the second half of the album. However, I don't think I am going to be listening to this album much after this since it just seems like a one-off album from the group.
Overall Rating: 6/10
Favorite Tracks: On the Line, Reasons, Shine, Alone, Flaws

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