In my efforts to catch up on some old business, I’m going to spend some time with SWIMM, a surprisingly good Los Angeles outfit that performed at the “Love You Down” music fest at the Echoplex/Echo on 02.07.18 and 02.08.18. This one comes from night two … and yes, it’s a few weeks late. Hence, old business.
I knew nothing about SWIMM going in, other than they’re local to L.A. They also featured high on the bill, just before Warpaint. And the festival’s title, “Love You Down,” comes from one of their songs. So I figured, yeah, they had to be something. Surprisingly, as mentioned, they were … so much so, that I’m thinking of catching their Moroccan Lounge performance on May 25th, now that I’ve been properly introduced.
SWIMM strikes me as a decent pop band that fell under the spell of psychedelia and prog-rock, elevating them to next-big-thing greatness. Not sure if that’s their future, but it sure seems and sounds it, judging from their spirited live performance. These guys possess an abundance of infectious, uplifted grooves, all warmed up and over in positive vibes. They’ve got this sunny disposition that’s filled with wanderlust, trippin’ through a multitude of territorial tempos. And they just sound really good.
I try to avoid comparisons. But after a few tracks, I kept thinking these guys remind me of The War on Drugs, who I also like quite a bit. Swimm’s not as epically longwinded, nor as overtly spacey, as that band can be. They’re also a little less rock with a little more pop … although, that might be because their music is so damn listenable. Anyway, they’ve got that same prog-rock spirit in spades, which keeps you on your toes, while still staying easy on the ears.
SWIMM’s been around since at least 2013. They’ve kicked out a few EPs in the time, with a fully-fledged debut album, titled “Sentimental Porno,” released last year. As I mentioned, I knew nothing of their music prior to “Love You Down” (the fest, not the single), so my discovery of their music happened in the live setting, with a follow-up trip to their Spotify catalogue to seal the deal. I have to say, these guys are pretty consistent in everything I’ve heard.
So I’ve got a couple of clips to share. The first one is actually three songs, woven together in a progressive medley of kaleidoscopic smoothness. “All the Time” and “Suddenly” come from the 2015 “Beverly Hells” EP, with “Souvenir” from their 2013 “Feel” EP. I just kept recording, thinking it was a crazy epic meander of songcraft, versus three individual tracks. I’m pretty sure the second clip is the more upbeat version of “Windows” from “Sentimental Porno,” which came out this year under the title “Windows Up.” This track, in particular, is what conjured those War on Drugs comparisons.
I’m expecting great things from SWIMM in their future days. Until then, enjoy these wonderful offerings of the past and present.
SWIMM perform “All the Time,” “Suddenly,” & “Souvenir” @ the Echoplex on 02.08.19.
SWIMM perform “Windows Up” @ the Echoplex on 02.08.19.