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Few bands have the ability to grab and hold your attention immediately. UK dream guitar pop outfit Swimming Tapes do just this. Their blend of airy vocals interweaves with a beautifully layered sound that you will be hard-pressed not to fall in love with. Their new EP Soft Sea Blue is a welcomed introduction to this indie band who have a grasp firmly on the sound of the times. We got the privilege to speak to the gang this week about the new EP, influences, and their songwriting method. Check it out:
We love the new music and how it has a distinct sound that evokes emotion in the listener. What have been some of your influences starting out as well as in the recording process?
We love the classic pop of the early Beach Boys and guitar bands like Teenage Fanclub, simple structures and nice melodies. Between the five of us there are a lot of different influences, but we’ve always said we want to write songs that can be sung and played by one person on an acoustic guitar. We like our pedals and the vibey guitar of american indie stuff like ducktails and beach fossils, but the bones of the songs are pretty simple.
Some of our favourite records are quite lo fi and we don’t want to have a really flashy, polished studio sound – our new EP was recorded live and it’s a fairly accurate representation of how we would sound at a show.
Was there a particular track that fell into place right away? Was there one that was more difficult than hoped for to finalize?
It’s funny, it’s actually quite hard to remember which songs came easily but it feels like they were written so long ago. But I think generally the whole EP came quite easily. ‘Queens Parade’ definitely has a live practice room feel to the track. We just jammed the end of the song and it sort of all fell into place. The EP was recorded live so out of the four songs, ‘Queens Parade’ was definitely the hardest to get right without fucking it up! It’s quite an epic song which takes up a lot of your energy to play, so as soon as Adam Jaffrey [producer of the EP] said let’s do another take and hits record you can definitely start to feel yourself losing your mind a little.
Tell us about your songwriting style. Do you start with music and then add lyrics or is it more 5 guys in a studio working through it?
The songwriting process is usually quite similar. We go round to Lou’s bedroom and stick on a drum beat. Someone may have a few chords or a riff, but it’s usually just a sketch. Together we start to construct a simple structure. The more interesting bits usually start to come when we bring it into the practice room and add live drums, sometimes that’s just what it needs, sometimes not. The lyrics usually come after the vibe of the song is there.
What has been the response the new tunes? Any interesting reviews or fan reactions?
Yeah the reaction to the new EP has been really positive. We played a sort of launch show for its release recently and it was really nice to play the newer songs now that they are out in the open. We recorded the EP in January so its been a bit of a wait to get it out there, but very nice now it is. In terms of reviews it’s always really cool when people take the time to write about your songs, and yeah, a few always stick out as your favourites. We’ve been very fortunate to have some really cool write ups.
What does the next few months have in store? Touring? Interesting projects? (things to plug)
We are playing a few shows between now and the end of the year, but the main thing will be writing what will be our first album. It’s shaping up nicely at the moment but we’re gonna be getting our heads down and making sure its sounding as good as it can be. We’re very excited about writing some more.