Do you like your guitar pop with an extra helping of dreamy? If so, look no further than the sparkling new London five-piece Swimming Tapes.
The band is making the short trip to Hackney later this month to play Mirrors festival alongside Fucked Up, Bill Ryder Jones and Liv Dawson.
We expect their jangled-up summery pop to be in high demand for the return of the autumnal festival as they play their debut single ‘Set The Fire’. After all, it’s already received more than 100,000 hits on Spotify so the lads must be doing something right. Released on new London indie label Hand in Hive (Wyldest, Saltwater Sun), we can confirm it’s definitely worth a listen.
Ahead of their Mirrors set, we caught up with Robbie Reid (guitar/vocals), Jason Hawthorne (guitar), Louis Price (guitar/vocals), Paddy Conn (bass), Andrew Evans (drums) to ask them about their favourite albums and how they have influenced their playing as a group.
Grandaddy – The Sophtware Slump
I love the concept of this record, it sounds like Jason Lytle has stuck a microphone in a Commodore 64 and hit record. Lots of lo-fi Casio keyboard space vibes. The technology concept has such depth with all the synths playing arps throughout. He is never shy to break out the big muff and hit a few wrong notes just to make the record sound a bit more broken down. My favourite track is maybe the closer, So You’ll Aim Toward the Sky. I love how the soft heartbroken melodies transcend and there is this fragile power he holds in the vocal like there is a glimmer of hope somewhere, someday which is really beautiful.
The Smiths – The Queen is Dead
Cliché alert! I have completely fallen back in love with this record recently. There is some kind magic in those fingers of guitarist Johnny Marr’s. And although I could never say that I am Morrissey’s biggest fan, his delivery on this record is killer. The highlight is Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others, while the riff at the start is unreal and the fade in/fade out/fade in intro is bizarrely delightful.
Tape Waves – Here to Fade
This is a fairly new record but it’s pretty much all I’m listening to at the moment. A duo based in Charleston, South Carolina, Tape Waves make really woozy, lo-fi indie pop. The guitar lines across the whole record are so pretty. Kim Weldin’s vocals sound like they were recorded at midnight while trying not to wake up the neighbours which gives the whole sound a real intimacy. Always Shines is a personal favourite.
The Feelies – Crazy Rhythm
If there is another record like this in existence, I’ve never heard it. Long intros that take an age to build in to a song, weird percussion overdubs, talky New York cool vocals with lines, such as: “You remind me of a TV show/That’s alright I watch it anyway.” It all sounds quite sloppy, but if you listen closely the guitar work is brilliant and so is the way they create energetic two-chord songs with three-note solos. Recorded 37 years ago it is still surprising and unique. And there’s a Beatles cover – but of course it’s not an obvious one.
Mogwai – Rock Action
One of my fondest memories is from when I was 17 in college and my friend who was a couple of years older had Sine Wave on in his car full blast. I literally fell in love within the first 20 seconds. So much so, I skipped the next class just to listen to it from start to finish. It literally blew my mind. It was like nothing I had ever heard before: heavy in parts, emotive all of the time, almost non-existent vocals and the second-to-none songwriting. This album opened my eyes to a new way of approaching the guitar, especially stand-out track Two Rights Make One Wrong. Stuart Braithwaite, I salute you!