“Yeah it’s really important. I feel like that’s one of the most important things,” Vanessa contemplates as she sits still while having her make-up done. Clash can see her pretty side profile as her eyes are closed shut, showing off her sharp bone structure. Somehow blending brightness, colour, and darkness all with an 80/90s twist, the visuals having equal importance as the music for glistening dream-pop group Swimming Girls.
Finding common ground with a group fixation on the warmth and nostalgic pop culture, the bands inspirations all arise from similar sources. The timeless work of David Lynch is a point of significant interest. “We’re really inspired by David Lynch and lot of directors with that darker vibes,” Roo (synths) explains with a smile.
All cuddled up like penguins, the three of us squash together onto a red leather sofa. With the atmosphere light and easy, we proceed with ease and laughter. Shifting to a more personal note, we touch on the recent release of another single ‘Beneath You’.“So it’s kind of about not knowing where you stand with someone. It’s based off anxiety and relationships, basically not knowing if you’re going for it and not knowing what the other person is thinking,” Roo tells me. “The lyric asking ‘Am I beneath you?’ is questioning if you’re on the same level as the other person.” Matched with the Stranger Things-esque video, their soaring melodies and captivating riffs carries you into blissful escapism.
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Transporting you to the darker parts of your mind, lyrically, the band go pretty deep and meaningful, taking a fun and tuneful approach. Reverb-soaked synths alongside neon- tinged melancholy, these Bath- hailing dream-weavers are unashamedly confident in their creativity. Vanessa’s lyrics are a raw, emotional see-saw, where she channels her personal thoughts and feelings.”‘Pray in silence’ is my favourite we’ve done lyrically,” Roo says. “It’s not out yet but it has got a really emotional meaning to Vanessa. From ones we’ve released, one of my favourite lyrics is “Wear your tears as my jewels” in ‘Asking For It’.”
Returning back from a busy tour with Pale Waves, the group seem to be buzzing.“It’s been cool to play in front of loads of people, purely because we haven’t really had that opportunity before,” Vanessa beams.“Southhampton was incredible!” Roo continues. “It was the Guildhall in Southhampton and was such a gothic, old building. Then Shepherds Bush too as that’s such a great venue and has a lot of history to it - I think it was the biggest we played.”
Being on tour sure looks like fun and with their cheeky attitude, they no doubt have stories to tell. “Me, Ciara, and Heather from Pale Waves were basically in a taxi on the way to find Vanessa and we found this passed out girl at the side of the road, and we had to help her into an ambulance,” Roo explains. As I look at him in slight shook, we try not to awkwardly giggle. “So yes, we saved her!” he grins in triumphant.
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Other than traveling the country, these guys take writing music very seriously. “We open up so much to each-other when we write and it’s really therapeutic,” Roo shares. “We always put loads of candles and get into the vibe.” Fuelled by their charisma and Vanessa’s elegant shyness, they have recently received much attention. “I feel like half the time women aren’t really taken seriously,” Vanessa sighs. “But I think now women are starting to speak up more which is great. I can’t wait until it’s equal because even now it’s not.” Stopping to think I nod in agreement. “I think people are afraid of what some women have to say sometimes,” Roo boldly adds.
“No men ever get criticised for oversharing or being emotion.” Talking of females in the industry, these two seem to be listening to a collection themselves, drawing influences from a diverse spectrum. “Obviously Pale Waves, I really love their vibe,” Roo smirks. "Then loads of other stuff.. I still listen to a lot of Cyndi Lauper, Jay listens to The Cure, I love Lana Del Rays new stuff too!” he says. “I’ve been listening to Blanco White who are also on our management and they are really good,” Vanessa adds.
Shrouded in mystery, the world of Swimming Girls are still unknown to most of us. However, with secured support slots with Fickle Friends and other little shows of their own, the word will undoubtably spread like wild fire.
"In the long term we’ll be releasing a new EP in 2019 which is really exciting as we want to get out a body of work out which sums us up as it’s hard to keep a main artistic vision when you’re just releasing singles,” Roo clarifies. “I think with the EP, we can explore more of the world we’re trying to create. We have a lot of videos, all really different and we’re just starting to get budgets for it, as before we had to make it all on our own. Now we’re working with directors that we really love, one called Aidan Zamiri who worked with like Kate Nash and stuff.”
Obviously stepping in the right direct, we can sense this band will be ones to look out for. “We’re just trying to create a cult!” Roo bursts into laughter. Just you wait. We’ll all be a Swimming Girl in no time.
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Words + Photography: Lauren McDermott
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