Swimming - Sun in the Island

Holly Cruise 03/03/2011

Rating: 3.5/5

Getting scooped from a swimming pool in Nottingham to the clutches of EVR Records (cool-as-anything radio station East Village Radio's record releasing arm) has given Swimming quite a lot of cachet amongst those desperate for the next new thing to listen to. And why not have a synthy indie revival? It's been a whole five years since New Rave, and if pop is to eat itself entirely then we need to speed these revivals along a bit or we'll never reach the point at which all music is simultaneously reviving itself as it's released.

Ok, I'm being a little unfair. The motley collection of bands that absolutely no one is calling New New Rave (don't, just don't) aren't simply indie bands waving synths around hoping to channel the best of Old New Rave (stop it!) - Klaxons' debut, CSS's debut, Clor - they're more interesting than that. The Naked And Famous' album has much weirder textures and songs on it than the shiny singles suggest, and the new stuff from The Sounds includes sudden LCD-ish dancefloor breakdowns. It's not enough anymore to whack some 80s sounding Casios over your chords and hope your drummer has a decent hi-hat. Find a new shape, a new sound, a new mix.

Into this we might as well throw Swimming as we're not (NOT) declaring any sort of scene. Island In The Sun is quite wonderfully misleading in its name - not that it doesn't sound all nice and summery, it does, but if there's any Weezer song it owes a nod to it's not its name twin, but Undone (The Sweater Song). You see, this song's a trap. That squelchy synth intro? The way it sounds like someone has sped up a chillwave track and got the guy from Fenech Soler to sing over the top? The squelchy synth verses? They're not going to prepare you for the booming guitars in the chorus, which recall nothing more than Rivers Cuomo's ode to ruined knitwear. All the tranquillity of the verses blown apart in an instant. It's actually quite thrilling played loud.

And there's more. B-side, Team Jetstream which lollops along, guitars phasing and twinkling, luring you to a denouement which somehow manages to be frantic and languid at the same time. Like taking a really slow but really big wave to the face.

Swimming missed out on a BBC Sound Of 2011 slot, but you could imagine them there. This isn't meant as a negative thing (come on, that list had Naked And Famous, Jamie Woon, Esben And The Witch, Warpaint etc etc). It's more that Swimming have a quirky edge or five without sounding too weird for general consumption. It's summer music and we are heading towards the months in which summer theoretically occurs. Give it a go. If nothing else those opening squelches work really well with ice cream.