‘Bringing a sense of warmth and musical nostalgia you wish it was summer all over again.’
Re-Intro to Swimming Tapes
With Swimming Tapes being one of the early features for ListentoDiscover – coincidentally just over a year ago today – it was wonderful to find that their latest offering more than deserved a review. Having released the beautifully acoustic single ‘Tides’ a few months ago – which by the way is well worth a listen – ‘Easy Strand’ (released 17th September) sees a return of the delicately riff-driven tracks which hooked me on their music in the first place.
Jumping straight in with the lightest, but most infectious of guitar melodies, the introduction of ‘Easy Strand’ makes it feel like summer has just begun when in reality, it’s about to end. The sound is immediately no other than Swimming Tapes and with an underlying accompaniment of shuffle-esque drums and syncopated chord changes, you can rest assured that there will be much to enjoy.
Becoming more dynamically reserved, the relaxed energy within the introduction continues but fades into the background. Now formed of much lighter guitar chords and a lack of melodic guitar content, it beautifully allows for the opening lyrics of ‘Easy days on the Strand’ – in their effortlessly half whispered tone – to come through. It’s a wonderfully warming sound and with the increasing use of cleverly crafted, and carefully positioned instrumental melodies, the ebb and flow throughout this opening verse is seamless.
Transitioning equally seamlessly into the chorus, the opening content makes a full return and with it’s bouncy feel you gently bob along to the earworm filled musicality. As you do though, you find yourself having a realisation. Swimming Tapes have achieved a remarkable feat. One that’s only made more remarkable given their relative infancy.
By shamelessly maintaining the style of their previous releases and almost self-quoting elements of ‘When We Can Hide’ and ‘Alison’ the whole track has a sense of nostalgia! They have indeed stayed true to themselves and if you loved their music to date, you will love ‘Easy Strand’ for this reason alone. There are however, some delicately stylish changes which prove just how effective subtle musicality can be.
Reaching the second half of the track, the noticeable emergence of vocal reverb, as well as vocal harmony, takes centre stage. Making it feel like the track has gently shifted a gear, it’s beautifully understated. But that’s what makes it so enjoyable. Likewise, with the latter parts of the track bringing textural change – through a jazz guitar led instrumental – we are treated to wonderfully musical nods to the influences within. Making you smile and reminisce of warm days gone by, you wish it was summer all over again.