Poised for glory

Poised for glory

Chris Lau speaks to the formerly Awkward Australian quartet whose teen anthem spawned a catchy debut record


San Cisco from left: Nick Garner, Scarlett Stevens, Josh Biondillo and Jordi Davieson
San Cisco from left: Nick Garner, Scarlett Stevens, Josh Biondillo and Jordi Davieson
Few bands have captured teenage awkwardness quite like Australian indie pop group San Cisco. Check out the music video for their hit single Awkward - which they produced during the last days of that awkward age - and you'll see how.

Lead vocalist Jordi Davieson, guitarist Josh Biondillo, bassist Nick Garner and drummer Scarlett Stevens successfully broke into the Australian indie music scene in 2011 right after graduating from high school in Fremantle, a small coastal city in Western Australia. Their debut album, also called Awkward, was released in Hong Kong in July.

"The [title track] has helped us quite a lot in getting live shows and touring opportunities," says Stevens. "I think the song came about when we decided to write a really catchy pop song," she says.

Not long after the track debuted in 2011, it was swiftly picked up by Triple J Unearthed, an Australian radio station dedicated to independent music.

"We got our song on the radio, but we didn't win a competition or anything," Stevens says.

But Awkward did rank seventh on the station's annual hottest 100 charts, and young music fans all over the country were obsessed with it.

The band's retro-styled, tech-savvy music video also gained a lot of attention, and established their quirky image.

Attracting more than five million views on YouTube, the video tells the story of a nice, unlucky-in-love guy who falls for a girl who doesn't really like him back.

With Davieson dressing up in an oversized polka-dot shirt, and the rest of the band flashing uneasy smiles throughout, San Cisco took awkwardness to a whole new level. The video also features lyrics, wrapped in text message bubbles, which Stevens described as "a reference to the young generation" - her own.

But the band has grown a lot since dropping their first successful single two years ago.

"We have been touring in the United States, Britain, Australia and some parts of Europe," Stevens says. She adds that the foursome enjoy touring because they are the best of friends, and it's a treat to be able to spend time with each other.

Although Hong Kong is not yet on their schedule, San Cisco will be playing in Singapore in November.

As for what's yet to come, Stevens says to expect the next album to be "even more catchy".

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- Indie duo Tegan and Sara needed a new challenge so they turned to pop music which is much more complicated than it sounds.


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