SEA GIRLS – Track by Track

Foto-© Parri Thomas

2019 war ein extrem ereignisreiches Jahr für die britische Newcomer-Band Sea Girls: Angefangen bei der Aufnahme als einzige Band in der renommierten Sound of 2019-Longlist der BBC, über umjubelte Festivalauftritte in ganz Europa (hierzulande beim Haldern und beim Reeperbahnfestival), bis hin zu einer restlos ausverkauften UK-Tour im vergangenen Herbst, ging es nur so von Highlight zu Highlight für die Londoner. Grund genug dieses Jahr gleich wieder Vollgas zu geben: die erste Tour wurde schon Anfang des Jahres gespielt, im März erschien mit Under Exit Lights eine weitere EP…und nun folgt heute endlich das Debütalbum Open Up Your Head der britischen Senkrechtstarter! Zu diesem hat uns Sänger Henry Camamile einen ausführlichen Einblick in die Songs via einem Track by Track gegeben!


Transplant is a love story and it’s about the world dropping out from under you when someone else stops loving you, and you keep loving them. I think the way the story plays out is quite cinematic and it sounds cinematic. It’s almost a little film this song, it opens up the album like you’re opening up a book and all the scenes in it – more so than a lot of the other songs. It clutches to hope, split into scenes. The first being a conversation in a club when you’re first told they don’t love you, the second being that pit in your stomach dealing with that news and the third, a day or a week later, when you think you’re going to win them back but that’s obviously not going to work. Larry Hibbitt our producer and Oli our drummer said this is the most Sea Girls of Sea Girls songs so it’s only right that it opens the album.


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All I Want To Hear You Say

With All I Wanna Hear You Say I don’t think we had any idea of how popular it was going to be or how much it was going to connect with people. It’s a lost-love song but I was worried it was going to be too specific to me and my ex-girlfriend at the time and being apart from someone in that way. I guess you don’t even realize that dynamic though, if the feeling is there then it comes across. This song was written pretty soon after I had my head injury and my post-concussion syndrome so that put me into weird mood swings. There would be moments that were really tough but also moments that things would be pretty clear because i wasn’t drinking and hadn’t touched a drop for so long. It’s also where I push myself vocally quite a bit, thinking of like Kurt Cobain and how he would sing. It’s nothing like a Nirvana track, but throwing my voice around like that really helped inspire it.


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Do You Really Wanna Know?

Stylistically, Do You Really Wanna Know? stands out quite a bit on this album. We love a rock song that chuggs along but this one is really groove-based. There’s just something else to it, it gives a different palette to what we do and I think that’s really important on the album – not everything feeling the same. It’s incredibly relevant to the album title, because it’s about sort of hiding in plain sight and hiding your mindset. I wrote this right in the middle of when I was obsessed about writing about my how my brain had changed and how I was annoyed that I didn’t feel the same and wasn’t on-form anymore. All the problems that brought, this song is basically saying: “let’s not talk about that!”. Of course, O’ll always put it into a song, i’m obsessed with writing about feelings and things that are complicated.


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Lie To Me

I think this song is very much it’s own kind-of thing within the album. I was listening to a lot of Bruce Springsteen and modern Americana like The War On Drugs at the time. It’s a love song that says: you don’t have to tell me you don’t love me, just lie to me and say you do. We played around with it a lot when recording, and did three different versions before deciding on this version, just taking everything out that we had added. The outro too, I was playing around doing Robert Smith impressions all day, so there’s definitely a bit of him feeding into that delivery. I didn’t want to hold back. I just didn’t care if I was hitting the notes, it was more about the intensity of it all. That was the most important thing, and we think it shines because of it.


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Call Me Out

Call Me Out is the oldest song on this album and it changed our lives. It was the fastest song I’d ever written and is just a collection of lines around how I was feeling at that time of my life. Of feeling unsure about what you’re doing, what your purpose is, our desire to make it as a band and feeling how so many people do when you feel completely inadequate and you’re looking for someone to fill that void. Not planning for the future and being aware of how reckless that is, taking that risk. As a band and as a person, just committing everything to music and seeing people around me make other life choices and feeling insecure about that. This song did so much for us, I think we knew it was special before we even put it out, and it changed everything. We end pretty much every set on it and it’s become the foundation or the DNA of a Sea Girls gig and we’ll be playing it for a long long time.


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We played one of our first ever gigs outside of the UK and we played quite late at night at like 2/3am at a place called Razzmatazz in Barcelona. We decided to make the trip into a holiday and got an Airbnb and Rory had made this track on his laptop as a synth track, so we put it back into the band and we made it into an ambitious and big rock-sounding song. We have some really fond memories around that trip, it was quite a wild one but also quite nice. It was a defining Sea Girls holiday that’s for sure.


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I think Forever really shows Rory’s talent for creating really big sounding rock music and I remember first hearing Forever and thinking we have to record that, this is the song that will get us signed. We’ve played it live for a long time and haven’t put it out till now, saving it for the album. Playing it live just feels incredible, it kinda carries you and feels super important and I love singing that last line, just shouting it out. One of the first times we played it was in Manchester, and I remember singing the chorus standing on a speaker stack just thinking in that moment: we’re in the best band in the world. It’s pretty cool when a song makes you feel like that.


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Weight In Gold

Weight In Gold was one of the first songs written after I’d decided to reach out for help and turn my life around. The first lyric written was ‘we don’t even care if the car don’t go’ and I didn’t even know what that meant?! But it meant a moment of peace and a moment of rest at a time where my brain wasn’t hurting. A place without hurt, a place of warmth and comfort, being at home. It came from remembering as a child sitting in my Uncle’s car on a driveway pretending to drive sitting in a big car. More than that, It’s of being with a loved one or a partner who’s making you feel still and good in that moment. Not having to worry about what you’ve done in the past. Not having to worry about what’s going to happen in the future. Just content with this one moment you’re in. Kill the past, forget the future.


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Ready For More

Ready For More felt like a really important song at the time, and was a song that needed to be written. Like Call Me Out, it tackles fear head on when I felt weak or destructive and was stuck in this cycle. The lyrics focus on losing what was really good in life, like human connection, but instead being stuck in old behaviours that I’d become tired and scared of. I felt powerless to stop partying despite my brain injury, I was just very scared of the damage I’d experienced and the damage I was doing to myself. In those days, music was the only place I’d turn to in order to be truthful with myself. It was the first place I turned to here, and Ready For More is one of those songs because of it.


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Violet and Shake work pretty well next to each other because they’re both pretty Kings Of Leon-influenced, different eras though! Violet has a kind-of Youth And Young Manhood sound, it’s a bit Red Morning Light. The use of chords is very Kings Of Leon here but what we’ve done is sort of added these synths that sound like they’re from the Drive soundtrack. I don’t think any of us are really like the character I am in Violet, I don’t think we’re that confident. I think it’d be great to be that confident in real life, where you can tell someone you really like how you feel about them. Think it’d be simpler if everyone had the confidence to say how they really felt.


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Whereas Violet was Youth And Young Manhood, Shake is more Because Of The Times when it comes to that Kings Of Leon influence. I think this track really pushes Sea Girls and rock ’n’ roll on this album. The guitars sound incredible and it was really cool putting the song together. I remember when we did the live take on this when we recorded the drums, I think we only did two or three takes but the first time was bang-on so that was a straight-in perfect recording there from Oli. It was good fun.


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Damage Done

I feel like Damage Done is about standing in this memory of the first time you have your heart broken. Straddling that moment years later, one foot in the past and one foot in the present and almost finding the whole thing really beautiful. You’re not hurt anymore and you’re just remembering how harsh it was and how harsh it felt but it’s kinda nice, almost poetic looking back at it. The lyric is ‘I don’t really wanna dance’, like there’s no need to hang on to any feeling of being jealous or how you used to feel because everyone’s moved on. It’s not affecting anyone, nobody is in the wrong or is perceived in that way. I guess it’s a pretty positive break-up song. I think it works if you’ve just had your heart broken you can just look forward to that. That’s how it’ll be in the future, so pretty optimistic.


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You Over Anyone

You Over Anyone is like a false love song. It’s incredibly intense and about sticking with something that is actually really bad for you. It’s not really about a personal relationship but about a relationship with a habit or a feeling – which a lot of these songs are about. Even when people around you say it’s no good, sometimes you just find comfort in what is familiar even if familiar is not what’s healthy. It was the first song after having a bad head injury, and it was an incredibly still moment, that week, where I just really wanted to write a good song, I felt we needed something really lyrically biting, something that really bit and put its claws in you. I think You Over Anyone does that.


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Moving On

Everything from your past in some way shapes you or stays with you as we get older and Moving On finishes the album and talks about things sticking with you like a siren or ghosts from your past. But you still move on and you still do what you do, you make new things, you meet new people and you make new music and that’s what Moving On is.


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