Swim Deep are the stars of the currently musically-thriving Birmingham, and, along with old friends Peace and Jaws, they are part of the first British music scene to break outside of our harrowed capital in what seems like an age.
Despite sharing some strands of musical DNA and citing some similar musical inspiration, all these bands stand tall on their own and to just immediately group them together in a scene seems far too belittling and does all of them a disservice. If you need proof; the stunning debut album by the Birmingham four-piece 'Where The Heaven Are We' is just that.
The oft-cited beach-grunge, surf pop band display a wider array of sounds than you'd think on this record, seamlessly and effortlessly genre hopping through shoegaze, grunge, indie, synth pop and psych. Swim Deep certainly wear their influences on their sleeves - whether it be The Smiths, The Smashing Pumpkins or The Stone Roses.
If you are a fan of dreamy, jangly guitar pop a la those bands from the 80s/90s then you are bound to love this record. Austin Williams lyrical style and execution embed the album with a sense of originality beyond it's nostalgia to give 'Where The Heaven Are' a fully formed personality of it's own.
Anthemic summer single 'King City' certainly stands out near the start of the of the album, then The Cure-esque 'Red Lips I Know' and piano lead introduction to 'Soul Trippin' showcase Swim Deep's excellent songwriting and crafting capabilities. All this builds up to the climactic finale 'She Changes The Weather' a great end to a great album. A powerful, ambitious tune that builds up with a minute and a half instrumental. Another amazing piano lead melody that eventually crashes over you like a wave, and you hear the wistful romantic vocals, Williams is lost in nolstagia over a girl, singing of a love that is all encompassing and a love that perfectly echoes the entire record that preceded it.
Swim Deep performed at Dot to Dot festival 2013.
Where the heaven are they? If you didn't already know and hazarded a guess you'd say they were on holiday somewhere warm, or certainly wished they were, and with that in mind what Swim Deep have done here is write a record that may well be the soundtrack to your summer.