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Swim Deep were once synonymous with the ‘B-town’ scene of years gone by. After a rejig of their line up and a couple of years without releases, the indie popstars have come back with a bang. Invigorated by the release of their third album Emerald Classics, Swim Deep graced Bristol with their presence on a very rainy Tuesday night.

After Phoebe Green and co. opened up the show with their own brand of jangly dream pop, Swim Deep arrived on stage and hit the ground running with theirs. Euphoric as it was back in the first half of the decade, ‘Honey’ came after new opener ‘Sail Away, Say Goodbye’. Powering through the classics including ‘To My Brother’ and ‘Soul Trippin’, the contrast between the old and the new seemed only a natural progression for the band.

Showcasing their many influences, their performance zagged through heavy, 7-minute long EDM number ‘Fueiho Boogie’, to re-route to their hazy, glazed-over serenade ‘She Changes The Weather’. New tracks ‘0121 Desire’ and ‘World I Share’ went down a treat and were ecstatically interrupted by the infectious ‘One Great Song and I Can Change The World’ and ‘Namaste’.

Frankly, the well-curated selection of old and new tracks was welcomed with open arms. ‘To Feel Good’ serves as a reminder of the journey Swim Deep have been on – its gospel harmonies and kitchen-sink lyricism take centre stage and it prompts rapturous applause. However, it remains true that no Swim Deep gig can be complete without their chef-d’oeuvre, ‘King City’. With all the youthful zest of their first record, the five-piece ended on a high and left the Exchange on cloud nine.

Their Bristol performance was a triumphant return to the UK circuit, and in the wake of new album Emerald Classics, it bodes well for their next year. Complete with a Screamadelica tinge, it was beyond nostalgia, so much so that it felt like a rebirth. The new Swim Deep seem more optimistic, more fun, and happy to dive into their new lease of life – and we’re absolutely here for it!

Tickets for the rest of their tour and links to purchase Emerald Classics are available here.

Words by Jasmin Robinson

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