Following the release of ‘Wonder’ earlier this year, San Mei was named the Triple J Unearthed Artist of the Week in May. This momentum has continued to put San Mei in the spotlight ahead of her second EP, titled ‘Heaven’. The title track, released over the weekend, exemplifies her incomparable style. Garnering praise from international heavyweights such as NME, Stereofox, Nylon and Indie Shuffle, ‘Heaven’ is a catchy fusion of rock, electronic and pop conventions.
Running for three and a half minutes, the track starts at a break-neck pace and never takes its foot off the accelerator. The energy produced from San Mei is non-stop and this is her greatest strength. The track gets feet moving, without being a dance song, heads banging, without being a rock song, and crowds singing, without being a pop song. In the verses, the grungy guitar is complimented with electronic chimes that reverb out over the delicate drum beat. San Mei’s soft, seductive voice invites the audience in to listen closer. This intimate vocal tone draws the listener in and, as the song moves into the break down, becomes the sole focus of the song, with the instrumental layers stripping back. When she finally calls for the chorus, belting out “did you think it was Heaven?” the music explodes with the drums providing a hard, thumping bassline as the electronic effects melodically float over the top of the soundscape and the guitar wails in harmony.
During the softer second verse the lyrics are repeated over a soft guitar line and gentle drums. However, this builds anticipation, and winds up the listener as the uncharacteristic quietness adds tension and suspense. If the first chorus exploded, the final chorus is downright nuclear, bombarding the audience with the genre-fluid sounds. This final sequence is wild and exciting, sprinting towards the sudden finish. The energy doesn’t stop until the final chord is strum, finally letting the audience take a breath.
‘Heaven’ is an exciting preview of what’s to come on the EP of the same name.