Swim Deep - 'Emerald Classics'

8/10

It wasn't too long ago that everything was beginning to fall apart for Birmingham's Swim Deep. Despite two positively received albums under their belt, 'Where The Heaven Are We' and 'Mothers', the band were beginning to truly reach their stride, with a subsequent slot at Glastonbury and tour alongside The 1975 building their profile evermore. But with the sudden departure of guitarist Tom Higgins and drummer Zachary Robinson last year, it took a lot of motivation to bring the remaining members back from the brink, and thankfully they did as their third full-length 'Emerald Classics' sees them deliver their most accessible record to date.

Named after their local pub 'The Emerald', where they debated much of their future, 'Emerald Classics' looks to take the foundations they built on their previous releases and deliver a collection that best reflects their reasons for continuing this journey, resulting in a bold and uplifting new album. Opening up with the stunning lead single 'To Feel Good', a reimagining of the 1991 Rozalla hit track 'Everybody’s Free (To Feel Good)', gives this record the shot of intrigue and euphoria it needed to succeed, and from there we are treated to a wave of warm and inviting cuts that channel their love of the 80s new wave sound yet remain vividly contemporary throughout.

To think that we may never have had the chance to listen to this new release feels like a great shame, as 'Emerald Classics' manages to see the band soar higher than they have ever done before, through poised and exceptional songwriting. We may not know their current state of mind, but the quality of their return is something wonderful to behold.

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