Second albums are notoriously difficult to make, it’s a fact. Bands have to navigate their way around musical potholes and clichés to come up with something new. Following Swim Deep’s first album (Where the Heaven Are We), it would be easy for them to continue in the same vein and replicate their sound for their second album. On top of this, with indie pals such as Peace and Wolf Alice releasing critically acclaimed albums there is even more pressure to live up to the hype. As it stands, the new album Mothers takes on a more full and mature sound that shows the band’s determination to grow and progress.
Opener ‘One Great Song and I Could Change the World’ sets the tone for the following tracks; with electric synths and guitars galore, it sounds like King City’s beefier sister. The next stand out track, ‘To My Brother’ could have been plucked from the first album, however is carries the charm of the first album that is sure to be a future crowd pleaser. This is followed by ‘Green Conduit’ which seems a little out of place; a sweet song with guitar plucking and vocals not too far from Noel Gallagher on Oasis’ ‘Half the World Away’, though it’s a nice change of pace from the dreamy haze of the first two songs.
“Mothers takes on a more full and mature sound that shows the band’s determination to grow and progress”
As brilliant as the major tracks are, Mothers remain overburdened by filler tracks. ‘Heavenly Moment’ for example, never seems to lift the ground and can be easily overlooked. Other tracks in the second half such as ‘Grand Affection’ and ‘Laniakea’ are pleasant enough to listen to, but don’t offer anything drastically different to the album, although do add a sense of coherence. However, they redeem themselves with the final track, ‘Fueiho Boogie’ which act as a wakeup call from the plodding pace of its predecessors, with lead singer Austin Williams claiming “we’re in the house of fun, we’re gonna run and run” he injects some fresh energy, ending the album on a high note.
Despite having some less immediate moments and less gripping songs on the album it is by no means boring; it manages to carry the vibes from their first whilst bringing a darker and more mature tone. Although ‘Mothers’ doesn’t quite live up to their first album, it’s well worth the listen and shows that Swim Deep are not just a one-trick pony.
Loxy is currently listening to: ‘Like An Arrow’ by Lucy Rose
Lok Yee ‘Loxy’ Liu