Swedish band Like Swimming have just released their first full length album, the simply titled Structures.
Like DIY Ikea Furniture, the blend of boppy power pop and considerably more subdued, acoustic folk sounds that is found within this record is full of little surprises that will ultimately leave you satisfied. No two tracks are exactly the same; each is composed of entirely different combinations of absurd sounds that often leave songs sounding as though they belong on a Nintendo 64 Game.
Like Swimming’s acoustic melodies are by far stronger than their foray into the world of pop music. Songs like Among A Thousand Desperate Minds that opens with an ethereal wash of synthsised keyboards carried throughout the track, detract attention from the skill of vocalists Claes Carlström and Ida Hedene. Hedene’s quaint voice contrasts dramatically from the earthy, deep voice of Carlström that supports her through the song. When Like Swimming ditches the synths and dive into a hopeful sounding build up and explosion of acoustic guitars and piano the song becomes considerably more charming. Similarly, Go Buffalo – initially released as a single- features an acoustic bridge characterised by the poignant drawl of a piano and the optimistic lyrics “We’re all gonna die in the summer.” This interlude in the ditzy power-pop anthem testifies Like Swimming’s experimentations with the weird and their determination to leave no song conventional to any one genre of music.
Songs that begin as delicate folk songs are shaken up by chirpy synths which contrast entirely from the mood established at the beginning of the song. In God Knows, this disparity is absurdly captivating. The sombre, delicate vocal duet between Carlström and Hedene initially accompanied by a quaint guitar is peppered with the sounds of an upbeat synthy xylophone suited to a more lively song. However, the xylophone the song an alluring geniality, that lessens the emotive impact of the melancholic lyrics. Yet tracks such as For Hanna that remain somewhat conventional are the gems of the album. This fragile lullaby showcases the beauty of Carlström’s vocals that manage to capture a reserved sadness. This emotion is left untarnished by any strange synth effects. Similarly Break Away With You opens with an enchanting acoustic guitar harmony joined by the rich vocals of Hedene. The a charming instrumental acts as a prelude to a monumental building up of optimistic folk harmonies not unlike Nordic contemporaries Of Monsters and Men
For their debut album, Structures is a promising collection of enchanting sounds, which Like Swimming will hopefully develop in the future.