Swedish indie-pop trio Like Swimming’s Structures is easily one of the year’s finest releases of any genre and a highly impressive debut at that. I come across a lot of great music, constantly checking out new stuff to review here on Love is Pop, but sometimes artists tend to blend together. I’ll get so many albums that all tend to sound the same, like they’re all trying to copy each other. So, when a band like this comes along, it makes me pause and stop listening to so much other new stuff so that I can stay with it and savor it. This is not an album I want to review and forget about three months later. I want this album to be part of the soundtrack to my life and if you like indie pop then I’ve no doubt that you will, too.
The band consists of Claes Carlström (vocals, guitar), Ida Hedene (vocals, piano) and Petter Wesslander (drums), who’d already been making music together for seven years prior to Like Swimming when they were part of the band You Say France and I Whistle. Perhaps that’s why the ten songs on Stuctures are, in fact, so very well structured. One thing I do know for certain is that the band’s two lead singers mesh perfectly together. Their voices are quite different, the beauty being the contrast. As for who sings what, sometimes only one of them is singing, but other times they can both be singing at once. It reminds me of Bat For Lashes collaboration with Scott Walker, “The Big Sleep.” At first they tried to sing in the same key, to make their voices merge into one, but they soon realized that it wasn’t working. So, they decided to each sing it in their own key, which resulted in a gorgeous if different song, which was very well-reviewed. I’m not saying that Claes and Ida don’t sing in the same key, mind you. Maybe they do, maybe they don’t. I don’t feel qualified to say for certain. All that I can say for certain is that their voices are each unique and they compliment each other beautifully.
It’s awfully hard to decide what songs to write about when every track on an album is this good, but I suppose I do have some favorites, if you’re forcing me to pick. For starters, there’s “Fighting Demons,” an inspired and uplifting track with magnificent horns complimenting Ida’s voice swimmingly. Then there’s the album’s opening track, “Among A Thousand Desperate Minds,” which sports some beautiful piano and lively beats. “Pray I’ll take the time to save you for a rainy day,” Ida and Claes sing passionately. “I’m all you’ve got, so never let me go,” they sing they sing repeatedly and intensely during the final third of the song and if you don’t start singing along out loud, your brain will certainly do it internally. I should also mention “Go Buffalo,” an invigorating song that’s primed for dancing. Whenever I listen to it, I start tapping my foot or swaying my head from side to side, finding it impossible to sit still. It’s a truly magnificent earworm that you’ll want to keep inside your head for days. But then that could be said about all of the tracks on hand. Granted, there are some tracks that are more moody and melancholic than catchy, but they’re all blissful and memorable. That’s much more than I can say about the majority of albums that I have come across recently. If you check out one indie pop album I’ve reviewed this year, it should be this one.
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