Swim deep – There is a big star outside

Label: Submarine Cat Records
Published: June 7, 2024

Swim Deep has always been a band on the brink of greatness, but with their fourth album, ‘There’s A Big Star Outside’, they’ve finally taken the plunge. As frontman Austin Williams boldly says, “This record sets us apart and proves we are one of the best bands in the country.” And you know what? Maybe he’s just onto something.

From the otherworldly opening versions of ‘How Many Love Songs Have Died In Vegas?’ it is clear that Swim Deep has reached new heights. The song is a fragile, enchanting affair that sets the mood for an album steeped in wistful melancholy and hard-won optimism.

Collaborating with producer Bill Ryder-Jones seems to have been a stroke of genius, as his impact can be heard in the album’s lush guitar textures and emotional intensity. Songs like ‘It’s Just Sun In Your Eyes’ demonstrate the band’s newfound ability to improvise together in the studio, resulting in a sound that is both authentic and elated.

Thematically, Swim Deep in There’s A Big Star Outside sees wrestling with substantive topics such as existence, mortality, and the fears that come with personal development. The arrival of Austin’s children and bassist Cav McCarthy during the album’s creation adds an extra layer of meaning to the endeavor.

But despite the weighty subject, a sense of optimism radiates from the record. The recurring chorus of the opening track, ‘It gets better’, feels like a promise the band wants to keep, and by the time we reach the enigmatic acoustic of closer ‘Fire Surrounds’, it’s hard not to feel a sense of liberation and feel rejuvenated.

‘There’s A Big Star Outside’ is the sound of a band that has been through the mill and has come out the other side more robust, sharper and more creatively powerful than ever. It’s an album that rewards repeated listens, revealing new depths of emotion and sonic complexity with every turn.

In a world that often feels uncertain and chaotic, Swim Deep has made a record that feels like a guiding light – a reminder that even in our darkest moments, there is always the possibility of growth and transformation. If this is indeed the best music they’ve ever made, then the future looks positive.