Swimmers are the side-project of Bouts bassist Niall Jackson, and their sweet, summery indie tones return on their second EP, ‘This Burning Circus.’ The album cover is a stunning shot of the Franz Josef glacier in New Zealand taken by Jackson himself, and even just by looking at this album you find yourself liking it already.
‘This Burning Circus’ is packed full of life. The massive sounding drums emerge as a prominent driving force throughout, while the sharp clack of the sticks on Body Ahernia is an appealing a hook as the bright guitar riffs that are sprinkled over the track. Catchy vocal shouts pop up during the chorus and the fun lyrics about wishing to die at 88 all contribute to an upbeat track.
Single line melodies on guitar and bass are quite sparse and bare, but the pumped up sound of the drums fills out all the remaining space in the mix. Meanwhile Jackson’s vocals sit assuredly above it all. A reassuring acoustic guitar smooths out the edges on Lose Myself, leaving a bit more for the bass line to do, but with a strong vocal line assisting, there’s plenty of melodic interest here.
Jackson’s vocals are distinct and show some great range, with some really pleasing falsetto parts, especially on (Waltz) This Way. This track slows down the mood a bit, and sees a greater synth presence, as well as a heavier reliance on the vocal prowess of Jackson. Fortunately he’s well up to the task, and the synth and guitars meld together nicely before the song gathers a bit of energy for a sweeping outro. The song is something of a break from the bubbly upbeat bounce of the other tracks, and it sits nicely among the other tunes.
Swimmers have delivered a quality EP here, the four tracks work well together but are also distinctly different, the instrumentation is catchy and engaging and the powered up sound of the drum kit makes for a unique angle for the band. An all-round decent listen.