Up n coming Oxford band Wild Swim have been making quite a stir of late, drawing favourable comparisons with lots of well respected bands such as The XX. We’ve been holding onto this feature for some time at the request of the band’s press people with the promise of an exclusive mixtape of songs by the guys – something you’ll find if you scroll down the page as far as the Soundcloud widget. Meanwhile, Richard Gilbert-Cross (on words) introduces the band to y’all.
Wild Swim are not interested in plying their trade in a conventional way. Lead singer Richard Sansom currently trains as a tailor on Savile Row & the rest of the band are studying music and philosophy degrees. The fact that some of the band are studying music makes sense when you hear them as the music they make has the sort of depth you’d expect from fervent music students, especially considering that they cite Sven Väth & Marc Almond, amongst others, as influences.
The band’s debut EP ‘Echo’ has already received rave reviews from places such as Tom Robinson’s BBC Introducing show as well as in The Guardian and The Times, all of which means the band should be considered “ones to watch” for 2013.
‘Bright Eyes’ brings to mind Billy Mackenzie trying to negotiate his way through a broody cover of Four Tet’s ‘Slow Jam’, whilst lush lead single ‘Echo’ (produced by multi-platinum selling knob-twiddler Steve Osborne) steps up the pace, literally sounding like a hormonal, teenage cousin of ‘Kid A’. It’s patient, suspenseful and hypnotic.
Upcoming release ‘Another Night’ shows progression whilst retaining the band’s ethereal qualities; a spiky bass punctures the delicate, slow waves of ambience which slowly build up to a surprising breakdown that plays cat and mouse with the listener’s expectations. It’s tight and experimental & has a well-crafted creativity within the structure – and what’s more, it makes the previous songs feel like teasers.
Through slowly drip-feeding their music to the public and releasing no details of an album or tour, the band have allowed a steady momentum to build up, aided by a series of tight, restrained and atmospheric gigs which see them swamped by the array of pedals and instruments that add to their intelligent sound. They’ve already supported recent successes Spector and Django Django and with oncoming festival slots amidst a steady trail of glowing reviews, it won’t be long before they’re selecting their own support acts.
‘Another Night’ is released on 6th May through Believe Recordings. Pre-order the vinyl and listen to the band’s tracks here.
Wild Swim play The Lexington, London on 24th April. Tickets for which can be bought here.
All words by Richard Gilbert-Cross. More work by Richard on Louder Than war can be found here.