Swim Deep's Mothers provides a new perspective on what alternative music can be with heavy bass lines and dreamy lyrics.
Swim Deep’s second album is unlike anything listeners will hear this year, and no one else could do it quite like the alternative pop rock group. Mothers takes a leap into the unknown, combining indie and psychedelic in new ways. Swim Deep’s dreamy sound has a dark, pop edge to it that isn’t very common. Where the Heaven Are We, released in 2013, had a languid, peaceful tone, but that’s not the case for Mothers. Swim Deep steps outside of the indie-pop box it was put into, which will either result in overwhelming success or failure for the band.
After not hearing much from the band after the first album, Swim Deep released the audio for “To My Brother,” the second song off Mothers, eight months ago. The wild synthesizing machines the band used are unlike how they have been in the past, and they create a darker sound for the track. One word that comes to mind from this track is iridescent. It also holds some gospel elements.
The next single released was the first track of the album, “One Great Song and I Could Change the World,” and it certainly changed theirs. Heavier drums, hypnotic keys and frontman Austin William’s dusty voice all come together to create a unique song that makes listeners want to go back to the ‘80s. “One Great Song” holds onto the idea that music can literally change the world, and the constant motion is there for everyone to appreciate. This celebration of the world is embodied by the lines, “One glass of bad, bad wine and I’ll be out on the road again, singing’ / One great song and I could change the world.”
The fifth song on the album, “Namaste,” begins with a ‘90s game show intro and then blends into a shiny, optimistic beat with lyrics to match.
“Is There Anybody Out There” might be the most magical song on Mothers. On Instagram, the band describes this as “a song about sheer love,” and keeps up the theme of electronic sounds and an acid house influence. This tune makes listeners want to find someone and keep true to the lyrics, “I’m going to praise you like a god. / And treat you like my old friend.” This is a love song for the galaxies, and from this track on, the rest of the album has an intergalactic quality to it.
The eighth track on Mothers, “Grand Affection,” links back to the recurring theme of paradise, mentioning it in the lyrics. The bass is heavy and deep in this song, and the keyboard and synthesizers provide a dreamy, playful quality to the song. This is one of the most fun singles from the album, and even mentions the monarchy in England with the lines, “With all those jewels and all those crowns / Why don’t the queen go feed the hungry?” “Grand Affection” is bold, personal and a song you want to put on repeat for the next week.
The final song on this record is an eight-minute long journey titled “Fueiho Boogie.” It will bend minds with a quick tempo and strong synthesizers pushing the track. As the song goes on, the intensity grows to enormous proportions, creating the greatest finale of an album in my lifetime. The song repeats, “We’re in the house of fun,” sending you on one last, ultimate expedition into the dancey, psychedelic galaxy that Swim Deep created with Mothers.
Mothers is the sort of album that changes a genre, redefining and recreating alternative music. Swim Deep created beauty through the weird, and it did it as successfully as a band could. This natural progression from indie-pop to electronic rock fits the band perfectly, and Mothers is what alternative music has been missing.