Swim Deep - Where the Heaven Are We

by Greg Spencer Rating:7.5 Release Date:2013-08-05

Swim Deep's debut album opens in a melancholic fashion. It's half dream-laden lullaby and half 60s-style serenade, a sign of things to come on an intriguing record from the Birmingham quartet. With new indie bands springing up all the time, it's always refreshing to hear something that's part throwback yet offers a different variant of the indie-pop/rock everyone has become so accustomed to in the UK.

'Francisco' serves as the album's proper opening number and it glides along like the imaginary convertible you're driving, dreamed up when you close your eyes and listen. It takes you to another place entirely. The soundscape is like a merger of Palma Violets and Joy Division. The nostalgic charm is there, yet there's a modernised feel.

'King City' plods along and detracts a little from the quality of its predecessor. It lacks the spark and imagination which was so prevalent minutes earlier. The quality picks up again, though, with strong entries in the shape of 'Honey' and 'Colour Your Ways'. Both of these tracks offer catchy choruses and chilled-out vibes, yet are in keeping with an indie spirit.

The problem is that the album glides along at quite a slow pace. It isn't lethargic and doesn't feel pedestrian, but it feels extremely laid-back and that it lacks a certain level of dynamism. The chilled-out nature of the album is especially evident on a song like 'The Sea'. It feels like it could have been written on a beach 40-odd years ago during the hippie movement. It's essentially a great summer tune but it sums equally why the album is great but lacks a little bite.

It isn't that the album is missing substance because it is clearly there, it just isn't a record that will you make you leap up from your chair and proclaim your love for it. If anything, it's a slow-burner but one that is certainly worth the wait.

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