Music Reviews

New Releases Roundup – Swim School, Maisie Peters ft. James Bay, Chloe Moriondo And Fickle Friends

Gemma Cockrell and Kiah Tooke

Gemma and Kiah review the latest releases from swim school, Masie Peters ft. James Bay, chloe moriondo and Fickle Friends.

Outside – swim school (Kiah):

swim school, the four-piece indie band from Edinburgh, have released new single outside this week. Releasing their first single sway in 2019, swim school have created a dreamy blend of indie-pop that’s driven by guitars and creates an overall feel-good sound.

Outside follows in the trend of swim school’s previous single, let me inside your head, with its more rock inspired melodies, blending elements of grunge music with their indie sound.

Vocalist and guitarist for the band, Alice Johnson, described the song as being “based on the negative impact toxic people have on your mental health and the moment you realise how toxic they are,” which can be seen in the track’s lyrics that centre around letting go of someone.

Comparable to bands such as Wolf Alice or The Night Café, swim school have gained the attention of the Scottish indie scene, having played hometown shows at King Tuts Wah Wah Hut and TRNMT, as well as supporting alternative band The Xcerts on their UK tour. With the strong single Outside behind them, swim school have a vibrant sound that hopefully sees them reaching new heights.

four stars

Funeral – Maisie Peters ft. James Bay (Kiah):

Maisie Peters and James Bay have joined forces to create the emotional single Funeral, the first song to be released for the Season 2 soundtrack of Apple TV+’s Trying. Whilst fans were expecting the release of Maisie Peters’ debut studio album, the English singer-songwriter surprised fans by announcing a whole soundtrack for Apple TV+, as well as her debut album set for release later in the year.

Beginning with an acoustic appearance from James Bay, Funeral’s chorus develops into a faster paced yet still moving track that poetically describes a romantic relationship. Peters tweeted that Funeral contains some of her favourite lyrics, combining her song-writing skills with James Bay, who is known for his emotionally charged lyrics, and producer Joe Rubel.

Peters has a promising 2021 ahead of her

Peters commented in a press release that “Being asked to make a whole soundtrack was a huge challenge as I’d never done anything like that before, but it was super interesting to me, so, I said yes.” Announcing a soundtrack and a debut album for the same year, Peters has a promising 2021 ahead of her.

Funeral will excitingly receive a live debut next week as the pair are also set to make a special appearance on The Late Late Show with James Corden to perform their new single.

four stars

Bodybag – chloe moriondo (Gemma):

‘Blood Bunny’ is chloe moriondo’s first major label album release after self-releasing her debut album ‘Rabbit Hearted’ in 2018. The album features the stand-out track Bodybag, which has an irresistibly catchy chorus with sing-along vocals.  

The song sees chloe switch out the stripped-back, gentle sounds of her ukulele for an electric guitar, resulting in her creation of a a pop-punk banger. This new sound makes sense, since she is now signed to Fueled by Ramen, home of bands such as Paramore and Fall Out Boy.

It is refreshing to hear chloe surrounded by a full band, and she seems very comfortable in this setting. She can be seen as an artist who is part of the recent pop-punk revolution, a wave of artists who are introducing Gen-Z to a modern take on the sounds of early 00’s pop-punk bands.

four stars

Won’t Hurt Myself – Fickle Friends (Gemma):

Continuing from January’s ‘Weird Years (Season 1)’, Fickle Friends have released the next instalment in their Weird Years saga, logically titled ‘Weird Years (Season 2)’. At some point in the future, this series of EPs will be collated to form the Brighton band’s sophomore record.

a unique topic which is rarely tackled within indie-pop

The core theme of the EP is lead vocalist Natti Shiner’s experience of the change-filled transitional period of Saturn Return, an astrological event which is thought to induce a quarter-life crisis during your late 20’s. It is seen as the time of growing into full adulthood, a unique topic which is rarely tackled within indie-pop, a genre which is often dominated by tracks about being young and carefree.

The closing track Won’t Hurt Myself sees Shiner taking back her power, in a song that sounds slightly vulnerable at first before subverting this and exploding into a bold and commanding declaration of “I won’t hurt myself the way you want me to”. This song, along with the rest of the EP, sees Shiner really come into her own. She seems more assertive and confident than ever before, with more clarity and certainty within herself.

four stars

Gemma Cockrell and Kiah Tooke

Featured image courtesy of Nina via Flickr. Image license found here. No changes made to this image.

In-article images courtesy of @weareswimschool and @chloemoriondo via No changes made to this images.

To listen to all of these tracks, check out the New Releases Roundup playlist on Spotify.

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