Returning to the U.S. for Multiple Performances at SXSW 2020
San Mei, aka Gold Coast alt-pop artist Emily Hamilton, is set to return with her Cry EP on March 20 via Melbourne’s etcetc Records. To be released in conjunction with a full week of SXSW performances (details below), the powerful 4-song set pulls inspiration from guitar-driven heroes The Kills, Metric, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs, as well as indie-pop visionaries like Grimes and Lykke Li. Dreamy, synth-laden standout “Cherry Days” is out and sees San Mei at the helm as producer for the first time, along with engineering assistance from longtime studio drummer and collaborator Michael McCartney. The track evolved from an American road-trip through the desert with her partner and serves as an uplifting reminder about the importance of appreciating the moments in between.
“I was thinking, we always have so much to do, work towards, strive for; we’re always chasing something,” San Mei elaborates. “And I thought how nice it was at that particular moment that for once, we had nothing to do and nowhere to be. It made me think that it’s okay to just enjoy ourselves for the sake of it every now and then, because life can be hard and it’s the sweet, easy moments that keep us going.”
“Cherry Days” follows the EP’s lead single, “Hard To Face,” which was produced by Oscar Dawson (Ali Barter, Alex Lahey). San Mei explains that the track comes from a personal place of mental strain in relation to music, career, and the future. A feeling that is widely relatable but not often articulated: “It felt like every time I looked around everyone else was kicking goals and ticking boxes. I just felt kind of stuck, and wanted to be where they were or have what they had… I think focusing on all the positive things in life helps negate those feelings. I’m learning that having perspective and gratitude is vital in keeping a healthy state of mind.”
The new music is an exciting start to 2020 for San Mei, who had a breakthrough 2019. Last year saw the artist on the road for an extensive debut national headlining tour, as well as nine shows in six days at SXSW 2019 and national support performances for the likes of G. Flip, K.Flay, Ali Barter, and Jack River.
SAN MEI AT SXSW 2020 (MORE TBA)
Saturday, March 14: JW Marriott Rooftop @ 6pm (SXSW Second Stage)
Sunday, March 15: Westin Rooftop @ 6pm (SXSW Second Stage)
Tuesday, March 17: Half Step (SXSW Official)
Wednesday, March 18: OP Veranda Bar @ 5pm (SXSW Second Stage)
Friday, March 20: Australia House – Lucille @ 1:30pm (’Slice of Australia’)