Mon. May 20th, 2024

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Album Review: Swim Deep – Where The Heaven Are We

3 min read

If there were ever a time to use the unsolicited term ‘buzz band’, then so be it in regards to Swim Deep. The term has hovered over the band since the moment press began to circulate over musical things happening slap bang in the middle of Britain, and since then the band – along with their contemporaries Peace – have been touted as ones to watch in practically every music/lifestyle/culture/fashion mag under the sun. But there are, of course, instances where a band that has been lauded as the next big thing prior to any whiff of a début album fails to deliver the goods. Indeed, tags that got a band to where they currently are have the flip side of weighing like a ball and chain – and with the added expectation of following in the footsteps of Peace, will Swim Deep sink or float?

Swim Deep Where The Heaven Are WeAfter leaping the track Intro (pet peeve!) which bookends with album closing song, She Changes The Weather, we’re met with new song Francisco, which sparkles into life before jolting into an eager beat, singer Austin Williams declaring ‘It’s time to wake up, isn’t it?’, prior to hearkening back to summer love, questioning ‘Was it a date, or was it forever?’. For an opening song, it is strong, and manages to straddle the rumbling rhythm of their first single, King City and the sickly overtones of their second single Honey.

Talking of those songs, Swim Deep – surprisingly – do away with them in quick succession. The glory of King City has yet to wear thin (as has the reference to Jenny Lee Lindberg of Warpaint), which is apt, as it remains as the Swim Deep song, concisely summing up the band’s origins perfectly: scorned in the way youth are and longing for excitement – relatable! Honey is what would be considered the opulate pop gem in Swim Deep’s crown, telling the tale of a daydreamer letting their life tick by accompanied by their own personal dreamy soundtrack urging them to get their act together.

You’ve probably figured by now that Swim Deep are all about condensing the essence of summer into lovable nuggets of pop – Colour Your Ways and The Sea are two perfect examples – but once these songs are gone, it all begins to feel a bit… flat. So many of the new songs pale in comparison to the singles that preceded the album; for example, whilst Red Lips I Know starts promisingly, it fails to fully capitalise on its potential, as does Soul Trippin; a bit more bite would have made for a killer chorus.

That said, just as your attention begins to slip a little, it is the more experimental and mature She Changes The Weather that saves the day. It is a atmospheric beauty that hums with warmth and emotion, with Williams more than sounding like a man falling hopelessly in love for the first time. For all its minor flaws, if this is what dreaming sounds like, then Swim Deep can keep on dreaming.