As Sea Girls share their new single ‘Sick’, frontman Henry Camamile has told NME how the “incredibly direct” song proved a turning point for their anticipated new album ‘Homesick’.
Coming as the first taster of new music since the band’s 2020 debut album ‘Open Your Head’ went to Number Three in the charts, ‘Sick’ acts as an “example of their ambition for the record,” according to Camamile.
“It was written in one of the periods of lockdown just after the first time it opened back up,” he told NME. “I went home for lockdown, I just felt like something big was going to happen.”
Speaking of the inspiration behind the lyrics, Camamile revealed: “It’s just basically me listing everything I’m pissed off with at the time. It’s anything from shit that isn’t good for me through to things I used to love, like being sick of The Beatles. It was like a ‘Fuck, I’m at the end of my tether’ kind of thing.”
He continued: “While writing it, the last line of the song was ‘I’m sick that I never ask how you really feel.’ I was like, ‘Fuck man, I’m so self-absorbed, why don’t I think about other people like my family or my band?’ It made me think, ‘I always whine about how I’m doing. I’m sick of myself, let’s change the fucking record’.”
Camamile admitted that this acted as moment of wiping the slate clean to start the next chapter for the band in the creation of a “wider-looking, more open and thoughtful” collection of songs.
“I think that was a big thing for this album and the writing,” he said. “This song opened my mind. There’s a lot of gratitude on the album and there’s a lot of attitude as well. I started thinking about other people and it expanded our writing. It sets the tone for a lot of the songs on the album and the stories.”
The band’s breakthrough debut album ‘Open Your Head’ tackled weighty themes of mental health, drug use and regret. The follow-up ‘Homesick’, coming in January 2022, addresses similarly stark ideas. “I thought a lot about mortality and dying – what it means to be alive and how lucky we are,” said the frontman. “All the songs came after the pandemic started, so thematically it intensified things.
“The whole environment felt way more intense. We missed quite a significant moment in our lives because we should have been out playing all of our first album shows.”
The frontman explained how returning to his old stomping ground in Lincolnshire got the creative cogs turning during a difficult time.
“The fact that I was sitting at home where I grew up meant a lot,” he said. “We called the album ‘Homesick’ because it just means you belong somewhere. Even if you’re out on tour or whatever, you feel like you have somewhere you belong. I belong to my past and these stories, and we had a lot of time to think about it and push and be brave in what was written about.”
He went on: “It made me think about being 17, being immature and figuring life out. It made me think about big things, life choices, how I’ve behaved, my family, how my grandparents grew up. It’s very much rooted in where I came from. I could really feel where I was physically in the world.”
Recording through a pandemic brought new challenges, especially with their production team including Jacknife Lee [U2, R.E.M., The Killers, Modest Mouse] based out in LA. “It kept us on our toes, you’d get a call at 2am in the morning to talk about the tracks,” said Camamile. “That kind of thing was just crazy, the hours just don’t work. You really feel that tension and there’s a certain harshness in places production-wise.
“It’s not a nine to five album. It’s as you want it. You don’t want things to be too plain-sailing. We pushed it, it was emotionally difficult at times doing things so quickly and not moving around anywhere else – we were living the album you know, that was our life essentially.”
Overall, Camamile said the record feels more ambitious and “focussed” than its predecessor, showcasing himself as a far more “grown-up” person and songwriter.
“We’re moving on and we’re bringing something different,” he admitted. “We could have made the first album again but we didn’t. We were really ruthless, we skimmed out any excess. It’s better than the first record and we feel so proud of it.”
Fans of the band will get to hear the first material from this album live this August when they take to the main stage at Reading & Leeds Festival, four spots from topping the bill underneath Catfish And The Bottlemen, Sam Fender and Aitch.
“That’s massive because those festivals are where we always went growing up,” the frontman said. “It feels so good for that to be the one of our first festivals back. It’s a dream because I remember going and desperately wanting to be in a band. To be on the main stage is just incredible.”
Beyond that, Sea Girls are due to head out on their sold-out rescheduled headline tour in October, culminating in their biggest headline show to date at London’s O2 Academy in Brixton. “I cannot wait to play the album shows,” Camamile added. “Brixton is one of my favourite venues so that’s a huge bucket-list moment as well. We’ve rehearsed enough times now. We’re ready to go.”
Sea Girls release ‘Homesick’ on January 14, 2022. Check out the full tracklisting below and pre-order the album here.
‘SOMEONE’S DAUGHTER SOMEONE’S SON’
‘SLEEPING WITH YOU’
Check out the band’s upcoming tour dates below
Friday 27 – Reading Festival, Main Stage
Saturday 28 – Leeds Festival, Main Stage
Thursday 7 – Leicester 02 Academy
Friday 8 – Newcastle 02 City Hall
Saturday 9 – Glasgow Barrowland
Monday 11 – Birmingham 02 Institute
Tuesday 12 – Cambridge Corn Exchange
Thursday 14 – Sheffield 02 Academy
Friday 15 – London O2 Brixton Academy
Saturday 16 – Liverpool 02 Academy
Tuesday 19 – Oxford 02 Academy
Wednesday 20 – Leeds 02 Academy
Thursday 21 – Manchester Academy 1