Point of note: while the artist is called San Francisco, he is not, in fact, from San Francisco. In fact, San Francisco is not even American. This little gem of an artist is the solo project of Welsh singer-songwriter Iwan Grant. Hailing from North Wales, but now residing in Leeds, Grant chose to make his mark on the music scene with an indie meets pop-rock sound.
Inspired by artists like The Kooks and Arctic Monkeys, San Francisco leans toward the indie-rock sound of the early 2000s; however, the influence of The Stone Roses can also be noted in his work. While he has only two singles to his name, Iwan is slowly growing a loyal following and building his name with features on FV Music Blog, The Other Side Reviews and Radio Shields Indie Show. The track we’ll be looking at is ‘(Not) Sentimental’.
Written and recorded in his home studio, also known as his bedroom in Leeds, ‘(Not) Sentimental’ is upbeat and insightful. Produced in collaboration with Jake Day and Oscar Liddiard, the single is well-arranged and textured giving each element prominence but retaining the melodic flow of vocals and instrumentation. It might be considered indie, but ‘(Not) Sentimental’ adopts an effortless cinematic soundscape forming a “soundtrack to the experience the song stems from”.
“The song is about a fleeting relationship that only lasts a night and, whilst nostalgic, it doesn’t wish for more time. Instead, it celebrates the night and relationship for what it was, however fleeting it may have been.” – San Francisco on ‘(Not) Sentimental’
Reminiscent of The Kooks, San Francisco uses the traditionally indie-rock style but places his own originality on the track. Incorporating dynamic guitars with simple spoken word meets light melody vocals, ‘(Not) Sentimental’ is both quirky and easy to listen to. While the witty lyricism invokes a sense of nostalgia and acceptance, it is Iwan’s tone and timbre that makes the track emotive. Think of Blur meeting Radiohead with a more soothing and flowing melody.
So, what do I really think about Iwan and his music? I love the sincerity, genuineness and, while the title is not sentimental, his sentimentality. I cannot wait to see what this talented artist has in store.