Thursday, August 1

Album Of Last Month

Swim Deep 'Where the Heaven Are We' (Chess Club)

It's a well-known fact that most indie kids who grew up in the '90s equate sunshine with a spaced-out Billy Corgan riding an ice-cream truck through the desert. Judging by this debut album, Swim Deep are so obsessed with that image they want the current generation to hold them as Birmingham's answer to Corgan himself - only less ratty, more lovey-dovey and probably without the looming hair loss.
In his sweet, tranquil vocal, singer Austin Williams must mention the sun and/or sunshine at least a hundred times throughout Where the Heaven Are We - which for a band from the damp West Midlands is oddly admirable. But it takes songs like 'Fransisco' and 'King City' ("I wanna be everything that I'm not") to realise that's exactly what Swim Deep are about - that desire for light in spite of the dark.
The just-do-it attitude is best demonstrated on 'Honey', when Williams knocks out this golden line: "Don't just dream in your sleep, it's just lazy." Such fresh-faced ambition is fun to move to, especially when the music is as well-groomed. The vibrant keys and casual guitars may get samey, plus 'Red Lips I Know's riff borders on a Stone Roses theft case, but there's enough here to foresee a sound of their own.
'She Changes the Weather' was the last track recorded for the album and is also the most intricate - it establishes Swim Deep's knack for heavyweight indie-pop that gets you before you even know it. Given 2013 was the year some marked for a guitar rock resurgence, the much-hyped Palma Violets and Peace never quite delivered with their first efforts. Here's a new band who have.