Album Review: Mothers / Swim Deep

Swim Deep have managed to make quite the name for themselves since the release of their debut album Where The Heaven Are We back in 2013. Their blend of experimental dream-pop has seen the Brummie lads tour pretty much every corner of the globe, support some of music’s biggest names whilst gaining one of indie’s largest fanbases; after all who can forget the infamous ‘Peace-Deep’ Twitter clique? With the addition of a fifth member, James Balmont, the band has sprung back with an eclectic new album. Mothers signifies a new era for the group with them touching upon new sonic dimensions more than ever before.

There’s no doubt when hearing the album’s opening track One Great Song And I Could Change The World that Swim Deep are certainly doing so. They may not be starting a political revolution or fighting world inequalities, but the track heralds a strong sense of 80s revival with the funky synth riffs and phased vocals of lead singer Austin Williams being heavily reminiscent of The Human League. Followed by the previously released To My Brother, this sense of nostalgia only seems to grow stronger and revive the electronic sounds of acid house which carry across some of the album’s most unique tracks like Grand Affection and the epic Fueiho Boogie. Although, Green Conduit has to be one of the most standout tracks on the album purely for its sense of diversity. At first stripped back to simply vocals and an guitar, it’s a brief moment of relief from the dense smog and rapturous melodies of Mother’s biggest anthems, most notably Namaste, before ascending into a chorus of blazing synths

From here onward, the album then moves deeper into the realm of psychedelia with the eerie winds and transient choruses of Is There Anybody Out There echoing the sounds of a distant universe. It’s lyrically more emotional than what we’ve previously heard and seems to act as a song of worship for a lover with Williams serenading how he’ll ‘Praise you like a god and treat you like my old friend’. Forever Spaceman appropriately retains this feeling of orbital motion which before gradually descending back to Earth through Imagination.

As the album reaches a conclusion, Laniakea hears an unexpected return to the band’s debut sound through slower and simpler instrumentation that delivers a sobering moment for reflection. Fueiho Boogie brings Mothers to a close with an explosion of ecstasy and surrealism that is hard to ignore. Debuted during their Reading and Leeds set, the track may seem full of madness and hysteria – a statement aided by the human spinning top twirling around for the entire eight minutes – although it actually draws influence from a strange reality of not being able to dance in Japanese clubs.

Swim Deep certainly take us on a journey with Mothers, each individual track delving into its own cosmos of musical fortitude whilst all run parallel to create a record with a magnificently liberal sound.

Mothers will be released on October 2nd and is available to pre-order here.

Words by William Castile


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