There seems to be a common theme across the reviews for Swim Deep’s third album Emerald Classics: how miraculous a comeback the band has made. Since the release of Mothers, the Birmingham group has been dropped by their record label, lost two band members and even found themselves on the dole. Again. It’s safe to say Swim Deep’s recent history has been pretty turbulent.
Emerald Classics, released just last week, is quite a change from the ballsier Mothers. This album may be more subdued than its predecessor, but is by no means a lesser work, with critics describing it as Swim Deep’s best album to date. Here, listeners are faced with a candid musical portrayal of the group’s scramble from rock bottom back up to the top of their game. The songs on Emerald Classics are tinged with the melancholy of 80s new wave (New Order has cropped across several reviews), whilst also nodding to 90s indie-pop bands – Primal Scream’s influence can be heard across several tracks. However, none of this album feels nostalgic or contrived. It is very much still Swim Deep doing their thing.
One review calls their latest work a ‘serotonin’ rush. Sounds very appealing, no? Let’s hope Swim Deep can deliver this same rush in a live setting. I’m sure they will. See Swim Deep perform at Exchange on Tuesday 8th October.
The above preview was written for Bristol In Stereo, published on 03/10/2019