Swim Deep – Where The Heaven Are We?

by Miles Rowland

Swim Deep are another band from Birmingham that have revitalised the psychedelic and grungy haze of late 80s guitar music; Peace came first in March with the critically acclaimed In Love, and it is clear at times on Where The Heaven Are We? that the bands share similar influences.

However Swim Deep fall on the lighter, sunnier side of the scale; the vocals of Austin Williams recall something in between Damon Albarn and Ian Brown, and every song here is sure to conjure up thoughts of summer’s past, present, and future. While the album as a whole is highly consistent, three songs stand out which showcase the band’s willingness to experiment in different sounds.

King City, with its rousing bassline and deliberate drum beat really hits the mark as it bursts into a chorus which merges Williams’ lazy, carefree drawl with giddy falsettos. Another pre-released single, Honey, as the title would suggest, is as saccharine as the band gets, with lyrics like “don’t just dream in your sleep, it’s just lazy” and syrupy synths - but instead of coming over as banal and clichéd the band somehow steer into a sort of hypnotic nostalgia which makes them a joy to listen to. She Changes The Weather is a piano-driven psychedelic masterpiece, which clearly pays tribute to the work of the Stone Roses: a sensational album closer.

Whether dealing with the subject of love (She Changes The Weather), fame (Soul Trippin’), or just wanting to relax in the sand (The Sea), Swim Deep float through their songs with a confident delight which is promising for a debut album, and there is no real filler here either. Forget unrequited love, heartbreak, and introspection, Swim Deep say it best themselves in King City: “With the sun on my back it’s a nice day, I will never choose any other way”.

The few faults of the album lie with its relatively limited scope, and several of the songs are slightly too similar in both subject matter and overall sound to credibly maintain the band’s relentless positivity. For these months of sunshine though at least, Where The Heaven Are We? is the kind of record that makes you want to take your favourite music down to the beach, enjoy the summer, and live for the moment.