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Album Review: Swim Deep – Where the Heaven Are We

Emma Snook

You would be forgiven for thinking Swim Deep must be straight out of sunny California. However - like their brethren Peace who even, to cause maximum confusion, wrote a song called ‘California Daze’ - their sound unpredictably does not emanate from days spent surfing with their decidedly swishy hair under the Californian sunshine but from... Birmingham. Perhaps this explains why their debut album is entitled ‘Where The Heaven Are We?’ – Birmingham apparently? But we’re confused too.

More clear-cut, however, is the extraordinary depth of this indie band.  It’s an album for dreamers by dreamers. But consistent with the message lead-singer Austin stresses in Honey - ‘don’t just dream in your sleep, it’s just lazy’ - the band manage to transform the state of dreaming into the more tangible form of song with the help of ‘oohs’, ‘ahhs’, hand-claps and uncountable mentions of the sun. King City is the biggest belter of the lot, for a band who seem to be lazily anthemic. The Sea has the most perfectly timed ‘woo’s I’ve heard in a long time and is a wonderfully hazy piece of fuzzy-guitar-based perfection.  The album closer She Changes The Weather has got to be a strong contender for road-trip-track-of-the-year, up there with offerings from the completely different but similarly cinematic White Lies or The 1975. Stand-out tracks that were not single releases include Colour Your Ways and Francisco in which Austin asks ‘it’s time to wake up isn’t it?’ - yes Austin and we are thankful for the effort.

And if there is a further incentive to see Swim Deep live, they do a mean cover of Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. ‘Life it ain’t beige’ sings Austin in Colour Your Ways, and Swim Deep certainly ain’t another ‘beige’ indie band.

Listen out for Swim Deep on Cam FM; The Sea is a former Cam FM Record of the Week. They are playing at Cambridge Junction on September 24th.

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