Steven Smith – Vocals, Julianne Shawe – Guitar & Vocals, Des Hesketh – Guitar and Stefan Malecki – Drums, formed as Go Swim only 9 months ago, and already they have gained a supporting slot with Kaiser Chiefs at this year’s Feile an Phobail, Belfast. Their previous release ‘Call Sign’ received numerous airplay across BBC Radio One, BBC Radio 6, RTE and beyond. They follow this up with their debut EP entitled ‘Animal’ out on 27th June 2014.
What first draws you into the music of Go Swim, is the sheer catchiness of it – the melodies, the slapping drum beats, the clever lyrics and those lovely male-female harmonies driven by the jangly guitar riffs.
Then, as you listen more closely, you start to realize the depth and genius of the arrangements and the pure, raw talent of the band members.
Each track on ‘Animal’ is packed full of finely-tuned energy and enthusiasm, making the majority of them fair game for air play. It is apparent that Go Swim have set out to establish themselves as fierce contenders in a market full of overrated “one-song-wonders”, as they wasted no space with uninspired filler. What further sets them apart from the crowd is their authentic talent and commanding stage presence.
‘Animal’ is an album that has mass appeal but also can easily be appreciated by true music lovers. The opening title track and “Automate” have all the ready-made mainstream hooks built-in for maximum radio exposure, while the beautiful guitar textures and chord structures on “Off The Trail” together with the brilliant counter-vocals and rhythmic waves in “Call Sign”, is more than enough to capture any music buffs interest. The EP is catchy and exciting, tuneful and sing-a-long-able. But at the same time it withstands closer scrutiny and comparison with peers and colleagues alike.
Listen to Go Swim on ‘Animal’ then honestly tell me you know many better indie-pop-rock bands have you heard in the last couple of years.This group is really creative and inspired. Once in a while you’ll come across an album or EP where every song is a potential hit. This is one of those EP’s.
Overall ‘Animal’ is upbeat and energetic with all-round, skilled guitar work. In fact apart from the track, “Automate”, the guitar sound is the most prevalent throughout the entirety of the EP. Though the EP does have a focused collective sound, there is plenty of variation and innovation to keep you interested until the end.
If you’re looking for some new ‘wow’ music, Go Swim will blow you away. They’re impressive not because of their individual skills, but in spite of it! It is their collective effort that utterly amazes. They sound and play like a band that has been together for at least 10 years!
‘Animal’ contains four absolute gems. There’s not much more to say beyond that, which does not turn into effusive babbling.The complexity of vocal and guitar interplay, plus the quality of the tight rhythm section on any random song on this EP outshines just about anything else I’ve heard in this genre recently!