Swim Deep review: They excel in concocting an anthemic fusion of upbeat rave, funk and glossy pop
PUBLISHED: 16:35 22 October 2019 | UPDATED: 16:35 22 October 2019
Still looking as angelic and fresh faced as they did when they were first propelled into the mainstream back in 2012, Swim Deep are one of few survivors from the Birmingham indie scene which saw the likes of fellow brummie darlings Peace, Superfood, JAWS all break through together.
The only difference is the new line-up they've slightly tinkered with. Founding members and songwriters Austin Williams and bassist Cavan McCarthy are now flanked by former Childhood drummer Tomas Tomaski and new guitarist Robbie Wood.
Taking an extended hiatus in 2017 it was almost the end for the group, yet they returned triumphantly this year with new record Emerald Classics, their first since way back in 2015. Taking its name from the band's favourite pub The Emerald, a classic local Irish boozer in the heart of their native Birmingham.
The new tracks fit seamlessly into their set, such as the bizarrely titled 0121 Desire, a straightforward indie bop and the more groove heavy Bruised. The gigantic sounding Happy as Larrie is also a future fan favourite, sandwiched between the more dance influenced songs from their 2015 album Mothers. To My Brother and One Great Song and I could change the World still sound just as glorious as the day they came out, and the band are clearly loving playing together and being back on the live circuit; its an infectious energy that the band exude.
Never ones to shy away from experimentation, their big comeback single for this album cycle To Feel Good goes full on gospel, featuring full choir and spoken word delivery from Williams. Euphoric positivity has always shone through Swim Deep's indie anthems, and this song perfectly encapsulates everything the group stand for, with the defiant reframe of "Everybody's free to feel good".
Despite the twisted sad face of their newly adopted band logo and album artwork, Swim Deep excel in concocting an anthemic fusion of upbeat rave, funk and glossy pop. There is a sense of real optimism in their uplifting melodies and lyrics, and a Happy Mondays feel to their raucous live sound. Every song transforms the room into a neon dancefloor, it's a really feel good set full of a perfect blend of new material and classics.
The triumphant encore is pure Swim Deep greatest hits, with She Changes the Weather still packing an almighty emotional punch, and the frantic King City closing things with a sucker punch of raw adrenaline as the band race for the finish.
Surviving a few years out in the wilderness, it's a truly triumphant and euphoric return for Swim Deep. They're back in business and here to entertain like never before. They are the perfect escape for these desolate bleak modern times, as they serenade us boldly into the apocalypse.