British summertime often conjures up images of disposable barbeques in the pouring rain, red skin at the first exposure to sunlight and some form of sporting disappointment. It’s always just a little bit underwhelming. Thankfully, Swimming Tapes’ debut album ‘Morningside’ has been released just in time for when the temperatures start to get that bit warmer and it offers a sign of hope for a great British summer like no other.
You’d be forgiven for assuming that the band are American, specifically Southern Californian due to their jangly guitars and Beach Boys-esque harmonies, however this five piece is actually from Northern Ireland, now primarily based in East London.
The influence of the Beach Boys is perhaps most apparent on the tracks 'Say It Isn’t So' and 'Silhouette', which not only demonstrate the group’s vocal dexterity but also allude to the closeness of the five-piece. A standout is instrumental interlude “10.05.17”, which at a succinct 38 seconds continues to carry on the relaxed vibe and is perhaps the track where their use of vintage equipment is most audibly apparent.
There is the desire for it to be that bit longer, but it also feels fitting in which the lo-fi nature of the rest of the album. It’s a reminder of the group’s camaraderie and gives off the feel of a group of close friends jamming along. It’s fun, short and a reminder that not all bands need to take themselves too seriously.
The album is warm throughout, feeling like a much needed hug in what are quite trying times within the socio-economic. It’s a frank reminder that sometimes you just need to escape and be optimistic.
Words: Jumi Akinfenwa
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