ULTIMATE PLAYLIST: San Mei
When you think of music, often-times Australia might not be the first place you look. However, with bands like Tame Impala, Courtney Barnett and – one of our favourite bands from 2017 – Methyl Ethel this outlook is seriously on the cusp of changing. When it comes to the music we’re listening to, in the summer months (and the winter when we wish it was a little bit warmer) we have a firm eye on the psychedelic Gold Coast. Adding to the incredibly exciting scene, a brand-new talent caught our eye and we want to get her on your radar too.
San Mei (AKA Emily Hamilton) is the ethereal, dream-pop songstress that has taken us aback with her sultry new single Wonder, the first glistening slice of sonic brilliance taken from her forthcoming EP. If you’re reading the words ‘dream-pop’ and expecting something kitsch you might be taken by surprise upon listening to the psych-ladened, and anything but wishy-washy, sounds of the talented up-comer. Drawing similarities to California’s Warpaint, or a soft-core Marmozets, inspiration for Hamilton comes from guitar-driven heroes such as Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Cat Power and Feist with a sound tied together by atmospheric synth melodies and a persistently-ripping drum beat.
New single Wonder is “about that classic butterfly moment you get when someone unknown to you captures your attention, and you’re not sure why. It’s that person becoming a daydream to you, wondering who they are, what they’re about, and not necessarily wanting them to become anything more than some intoxicating illusion”.
We asked San Mei to create us a collection of tracks that have inspired her so you can get to know her better. Listen to San Mei’s ‘Ultimate Playlist’, below.
God Knows I Tried – Lana Del Rey -This one is on my “Songs I Wish I’d Written” list. The melodies and lyrics are so moving, and it’s one of those songs that doesn’t need to rely on production – you could sing it a capella and it would be just as strong.
Lover, You Should’ve Come Over – Jeff Buckley – I don’t really need to say anything about this song. It’s genius.
Wicked Game – Chris Isaak – Nobody does heartbreak better than Chris, in my opinion. The melodies in this song are so beautiful and melancholy, they just wrap you up and take you into that moment.
I’m On Fire – Bruce Springsteen – This song is electric and it’s always over too soon for me – I always want it to last forever when I listen to it.
Whiteout – Warpaint – Warpaint do melodies, mood and beats so perfectly. They’re a huge inspiration to me in that way.
Soft Shock – Yeah Yeah Yeahs – This song is so sweet and kinda feels like a lullaby to me. Karen O is also a hero of mine.
Future Starts Slow – The Kills – The Kills have been a huge influence for me and this is one of the first songs that got me hooked on them.
Groundswell – Methyl Ethyl – I love the tension of this song and how it builds into that glorious chorus/outro. These guys have such unique melodies but it’s always easy to connect with them.
Weekend Wars – MGMT – MGMT have always been an enigma to me as to how they managed to maintain their weirdness and intelligence but still had such huge mainstream success. This song is one of my favourites of theirs.
Mind mischief – Tame Impala – Major Beatles vibes with this one. I kinda wish I’d written this one, too.
Don’t Delete the Kisses – Wolf Alice – This song is pretty much perfect to me. It sends me straight into a daydream.
Don’t Wanna Fight – Alabama Shakes – I love how percussive all the parts in this song feel. And obviously her voice is magic.
Whole Wide World – Wreckless Eric – This song makes me so happy. I love how simple/naive and romantic it is. I never get sick of hearing it.
I Want You (She’s So Heavy) – The Beatles – This song is so sultry and addictive, and my dad told me it was one of the heaviest/risqué songs to come out at that time. I reckon that’s pretty cool.
Howl – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Possibly my favourite song from one of my all-time favourite bands and influences.
San Mei’s Wonder is out now via LXVI Records and available on all platforms.