Floating somewhere between the sea and space
Joe Smith
16:02 18th August 2021

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From the get-go of Making Sense Of It All, it’s clear that the Edinburgh quartet Swim School thrive when lost deep in voids of sound. By surrounding themselves with a wild array of glisteing sonic energies, they stand firm as the beautiful chaos spirals around them. Not bad for their debut, eh?

Throughout its five tracks, Making Sense Of It All journeys through the intricacies of mental health both delicately and impactfully, offering up a magnificent serving of dream-pop infused grunge. With established lyricism and dazzling instrumentals making sense of it all, it's exquisite.

‘Let Me Inside Your Head’ grasps the EP’s themes and holds them tightly between brooding instrumental introductions and the haunting wails of Alice Johnson, before flinging them across the EP’s entirety at the beginning of the track's chorus. The guitars become morphed and jagged, the drums more visceral and prominent, and the vocals grow more and more explosive towards the track's climax.

‘Everything You Ever Wanted’ is a wonderful example of the joys of a misleading intro. Starting off unusually subdued, this façade continues up until the song's third act when atmospheric synths switch into roaring backing vocals and the prestigious musings of an assertive guitar. ‘See Red’, however, sees Swim School combine punchy dream-pop with the turbulence of indie-rock, in a way that is both raw and refreshing. The songs gutteral nature ebbs and flows between moments of sinister quiet and raucous embellishments of magnificent noise. 

Making Sense Of It All is never grounded. Instead it chooses to dive deep into unexplored oceans, or erupt upwards, until it finds itself bridging the gap between the sky and space. Its unparalleled atmospherics and honest outlooks combine to create an incredibly special debut, bold and unafraid.

Making Sense Of It All EP arrives 20 August.

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Photo: Press