Album review: SWIM DEEP – Emerald Classics

SWIM DEEP - Emerald Classics

[Release date 04.10.19]

Swim Deep formed in 2011 and their first two albums made the UK album charts. However, last year they were sat at a crossroads in their local pub – The Emerald, from which the album takes its name – wondering if it was all worth it.

After the release of their second album ‘Mothers’, and having played Glastonbury and gone out on tour with the 1975, they very nearly fell apart at the seams leading to a couple of members departing. Austin Williams (vocals, guitar, synths, piano), James Balmont (keys, keytar, synths, vocals) and Cavan McCarthy (bass, synths, keys, vocals) were joined by guitarist Robbie Wood and drummer Thomas “Tomaski” Fiquet.

The album’s lead single ‘To Feel Good’ takes part of the 1991 Rozalla hit single ‘Everybody’s Free (To Feel Good)’, adding a full gospel choir – the Margate Social Singing Choir. An upbeat melody which tells the story of Austin’s real-life experiences of signing on and how made a choice to become a musician. Swim Deep channel so many influences, be it a little bit of the Pet Shop Boys on ‘World I Share’ or 80s electro hit makers OMD and Ultravox on ‘0121 Desire’.

‘Sail Away, Say Goodbye’ has a massively catchy chorus, with plenty of synths and the melodic vocals of Austin. It has number one written all over it, if only enough people got to hear it and stream it. For a proper synth wig out check out ‘Drag Queens In Soho’ – could almost be prog!

There is a strong 90’s indie pop feel to ‘Top Of The Pops’ – like Pulp jamming with Ride and the Divine Comedy. Pure pop bliss and another hit in the making if only it gets exposure.

Music that can’t help but make you feel good and adds to a growing list of essential pop albums for 2019, along with the Divine Comedy and My Life Story. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie


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