If you hadn’t got the message that Swim Deep’s second album, ‘Mothers’, was going to be ever so slightly different from their first – 2013’s ‘Where The Heaven Are We’ – ‘Namaste’ is here to ram that point home. Following the baggy beats of ‘To My Brother’ and the sultry tones of the ambitious ‘One Great Song And I Could Change The World’, it’s a great big bolt of pop that’s impossible to ignore, as anyone who’s already seen the band play it live can attest to.
There’s an element of ’90s pop (think: Erasure) to the whole thing and a slight whiff of cheese that, in the wrong hands, could be a horrible misstep. The Birmingham quintet, however, deploy it with such confidence and fun that it’s hard not to be pulled in by it. Shrill synths stab through like jazz hands, bold and bright, while Zach Robinson’s jingling drums drive things along and Austin Williams’ soft falsetto coos take the edge off things.
‘Namaste’ isn’t all in-your-face and OTT, though. Midway through, everything drops into a rippling dreamscape that offers a pause for reflection. Turns out it’s just a temporary dip in energy and one that lifts things even higher than before – soon the action comes bowling back in with an electrifying howl from Williams that scatters any sense of calm to the sidelines.
In Hinduism, the word namaste means ‘I bow to the divine in you’. Swim Deep are laying that within them out in spades. Press your hands together and react accordingly.