Swimmer One – Come On, Let’s Go! EP

Swimmer One
Come On, Let’s Go! EP

America has never really understood Britain’s fixation with the dance floor. It seems, inexplicably, that for a certain subset of British artists, filling the dance floor is a noble and high-minded goal on par with, say, rocking the mic or shredding. It takes talent, no doubt: artists who can successfully fill a club are as rare as decent guitar bands, strong vocalists, etc. But that doesn’t mean we Yankees will ever understand.
Swimmer One is a band that sees the world as, quite literally, a dance floor, half-full or half-empty. But despite certain tendencies, this is not really a dance band. Rather, Swimmer One is a pop band that writes about dance music. Only in Britain.
Come On, Let’s Go!, the band’s second release, is an exposition on the dance floor. As such, the first song succeeds brilliantly. “Come On, Let’s Go!” is such a fantastic slice of synthesized pop, it’s difficult not to love, despite some awkward lyrical turns (and, to be fair, some great ones). The song opens with an acoustic guitar strumming along mightily before the oscillating electronic effects and warm keyboards take over. “Something / is happening / the dance floor / is half-full / and now it’s / half empty / I can’t go on,” and it doesn’t get much more complicated than that. It doesn’t need to. This is the band’s blueprint.
The rest of the EP, however, fares far worse. The second track, “Lake Tahoe,” is chock-full of full ambient textures, and the yuppies-pondering-the-meaning-of-life narrative that runs over the track three times is simply inexcusable. “How Could Something Like That Be Love?” feels half-baked and amateurish. The female vocals that sing the chorus are especially thin and disappointing, and the song fails to improve compositionally over the title track. The final “track” on the EP is a “short film” called “The Unnameable Disco,” which is simply a music video for the title track. It’s interesting enough, but on an EP that’s already short on content, it feels like a scam.
Swimmer One will undoubtedly appeal to groups of club-going dance mavens, and it seems, with the right mix of melody and kitsch, they might be able to appeal to a much wider audience. The title track is nearly flawless, but the rest of the EP feels like filler. Dance is a singles genre, to be sure, but pop music needs more consistency.