Gemma Cockrell caught up with Edinburgh indie-outfit swim school in the run up to their eagerly anticipated debut EP, ‘making sense of it all’.
How would you summarise your debut EP ‘making sense of it all’? Are there any recurring lyrical ideas, themes or concepts?
ALICE JOHNSON: Our EP ‘making sense of it all’ focuses heavily on mental health. It discusses topics on toxic relationships, standing up for yourself and opening up about things.
This EP is definitely a lot heavier than the music we were putting out way back in 2019
How would you describe the overall sound of the EP, were there any other bands or artists who influenced this sound?
AJ: This EP is definitely a lot heavier than the music we were putting out way back in 2019, we wanted to try and create our own type of grunge and shoegaze music, you can hear the 90s influence a lot with our song let me inside your head which was heavily influenced by the band Slowdive. Our single anyway takes more of a poppy direction that some would relate with the early 2000s.
What made you decide to release let me inside your head as the lead single for the EP?
BILLY MCMAHON: I don’t think there’s any reason in particular other than we really enjoy playing it in our studio, we felt that the big chorus would be a really good way of reeling new fans in – we just love that song.
I think it’s definitely one of the most ambitious tracks we’ve ever written, it’s certainly the heaviest
What is your favourite song from the EP and why?
LEWIS BUNTING: I think we all have our personal favourites but I think one we are all really enjoying is the fourth and final single from the EP anyway. I think it’s definitely one of the most ambitious tracks we’ve ever written, it’s certainly the heaviest.
anyway speaks about mental health and the difficulties with opening up to people, are these lyrics based on a personal experience?
AJ: All of my lyrics are based on an experience but they aren’t always my own personal experiences. When someone close to you is going through a tough time, you witness all the emotions that come from that experience but from another point of view. One thing I love about lyrics is that anyone listening can connect to the lyrics in a certain and unique way which is why I try not to keep my lyrics too personal.
Do you feel like your hometown of Edinburgh has influenced your sound at all, and if so, in what way?
LB: I personally don’t think many bands in Edinburgh have influenced the sound and tone of the band but in terms of motivation the Edinburgh scene has been great for that, it’s amazing seeing your friends do well and watching them show that being a successful band from Edinburgh is possible.
We’ve waited what feels like forever to play our new set and to play it for the first time to such an amazing crowd was so special
You recently played Latitude Festival, what was it like to be up on stage in front of a crowd again?
MATT MITCHELL: It was honestly one of the most incredible feelings ever, we’ve waited what feels like forever to play our new set and to play it for the first time to such an amazing crowd was so special. The new tracks went down extremely well too which is always a bonus.
What does the future hold for swim school, have you got more live shows planned, or any plans for more new music?
MM: We all just hope we can keep playing shows and festivals, with 18 months off we’re just keen to keep building our fanbase with our live performance. We also just want to keep writing as much as possible too. The dream would also be to get on a tour this year but we’ll see.
‘making sense of it all’ by swim school is out now.
Featured image courtesy of Rory Barnes. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes made to this image.
In-article images courtesy of @weareswimschool via instagram.com. No changes made to these images.
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