Swimming Tapes have been friends for as long as anyone can remember. Coming of age in Northern Ireland, the various members took different paths, before winding up in London, where they met drummer Andrew Evans.
Each musician has previous experience under their belt, but – as fate would have it – their respective projects would fizzle out just as their lives began to intertwine once more.
“We all found ourselves in London,” explains Louis Price, “and we didn’t have a band to play in. We all talked about starting to play some music again, so we started jamming in my bedroom, and one thing led to another.”
It’s as simple and refreshing as that. Exchanging ideas, swapping influences, Swimming Tapes happened across their sound by simply letting things flow. “We just wanted to bring it back to good, basic songwriting with guitars, and make sure the songs shone through without using too many production techniques. For us, we just bonded over certain US indie bands - we kind of knew what sound we wanted to go for from the get-go.”
New EP ‘Soft Blue Sea’ is out now, a collection of enchanting indie pop hymns that softly, unavoidably become part of your life within just a few listens. It’s a restrained sound, perhaps in part due to the way the band wrote the songs.
“We write in my bedroom, much to my girlfriend’s disapproval!” laughs Louis. “We like keeping it quite simple, quiet so we can get to grips with each other and then when we get to the practice room we turn it all up to see if it works.”
“It’s quite a collaborative affair,” adds band mate Jason Hawthorne. “I’ve been in bands previously where it was all about the lead guy and his particular style of songwriting, but I feel we’ve got a really good mix going on here. Everybody comes to the table with something.”
“It’s a really good process,” he continues. “It’s a lot easier I find. I like to think we’re all quite good musicians, and it’s just good to have different aspects and different vibes coming in from different places.”
With the EP out now on tastemakers Hand In Hive, Swimming Tapes are set to play an intimate show this very eve (October 6th) for Clash. Ramping up the energy, the band are able to cut loose in a way those bedroom sessions won’t quite let them. “I think naturally with the adrenaline it gets a bit more energetic,” says Jason. “The crowd as well gives you that boost – it’s just that bit more edgy”.
Almost continuously working on new material, Swimming Tapes are forever concerned with what comes next. “We all have ideas and it’s hard to work on them all the time,” Jason admits. “But we’ve got a wee stockpile of stuff we’re going to start working on.”
“As soon as the EP came out we thought, let’s push ahead. So now we’re demoing songs and getting a nice collection of potential tracks together. We’re really happy with what we’re coming out with and hopefully in the near future have an album.”
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Catch Swimming Tapes at the Finsbury, London tonight (October 6th).
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