ICYMI TRACK REVIEW // SWIM DEEP - To Feel Good
Updated: Jul 16, 2019
Words by Ali Lowery
Emerging out of the mire from almost a three-year interlude, the Birmingham boys return with their first single release since 2015. Evolving from the days of ‘Where the Heaven Are We?’, their new single To Feel Good feels like a maturing and embracement of years in which the band has spent away from the spotlight. Garnering positive attention for the single since its release, the music video has created a second wave of appreciation and admiration. Preceding the release of their new album ‘Emerald Classics’ later this year, their first track To Feel Good definitely fits with the self-described vibe of the album for “dreamers and pub jukeboxes”.
The unhurried spoken-word of To Feel Good, riffed from Rozalla’s 1991 club hit Everybody’s Free (To Feel Good), is expertly balanced with the use of a full gospel choir - adding emotion against the cathartic drawl of frontman Austin Williams. Reminiscent of Jamie T in Sheila and The Prophet, the spoken-word nature of Swim Deep’s To Feel Good is effective in its delivery of the unrelenting nature of reality.
Whilst the song holds up enough power alone, the addition of the music video directed by Georgina Cammalleri is truly a much darker visual interpretation than their previous videos. Its beauty lies in its simplicity – a black and white colour scheme. Occasionally putting a music video in black and white can come off cliché, but for To Feel Good it seems like a natural fit.
Whilst most music videos are often very obvious in their message, or are there to accompany an upbeat song, To Feel Good is an interesting combination. The video features frontman Austin Williams surrounded by a horseshoe of people, who individually come up and punch him in the face. The whole time Williams’ expression is blank as he sings the lyrics, backed with a gospel choir.
Listening to the lyrics of the song, the repetitive punches and eventual knock-out of Williams appears to represent the gruelling, unforgiving nature of life and one’s methods of dealing with the troubles they incur. The stony aggressive faces of the attackers compared to the smiling and joyous expressions of the gospel choir is powerful. A representation of how one can appear to be happy and ‘feel good’ on the outside whilst beating themselves up internally. The video is equal parts striking and stirring.
This introspective song and video breaks from the tradition of an indie boy-band approach which can sometimes come off somewhat facetious or pretentious. Swim Deep strike the perfect balance, favouring a darker more serious approach, being equally as memorable as they embark on a new chapter. This sets excitement and anticipation in motion for the release of future singles, albums, and if they are anything like this one – videos too.
Watch The Music Video for To Feel Good in full 👇