I did say that it was my intention to include more new stuff on my Christmas posts this year (not that there’s anything wrong with posting a few old faves, of course!)
I have long supported How To Swim on this blog, and indeed they made my Festive Fifty back in 2008, with ‘Genesis P and Me.’. They have just released a free, three-track EP for Christmas, entitled A Minor Key Christmas. This includes two new songs and a cover of Paul McCartney’s ‘Wonderful Christmastime.’
Now, this last song I hold to be one of the nadirs of Macca’s post-Beatles career. But How To Swim have shown that, amazingly, you CAN polish a turd and make it into a decent pop tune.
This is in addition to last year’s Christmas EP, which was entitled Santa’s Got All The Best Tunes:
However, I would seriously beseech you to understand that How To Swim are not just for Christmas. Start by checking out their Bandcamp.
I have already blogged about how awesome How To Swim’s latest album Retina is (check it out here) and an earlier Christmas song of theirs here. However, at the end of this week, How To Swim will be unleashing a free EP, entitled Santa Has All The Best Tunes, from which they have made the following available to download already:
How To Swim -‘Retina (or More Fun Than A Vat Of Love)’ (Personal Hygiene)
How To Swim were formed in Glasgow in 2000 by the wonderfully-nmaed Ink Wilson (Gregor Barclay to his Mum). That means they’ve been around for ten years now -and whilst their profile is not as high as I feel it deserves to be, hopefully this album will go a long way towards redressing that balance. In terms of the band’s sound…well, think Belle and sebastian meets Kid Canaveral with a touch of the Divine Comedy thrown in.
Like many Glasgow acts, they have released material on the Electric Honey label (which has also helped bolster the careers of heavyweights such as Biffy Clyro, Snow Patrol and Belle & Sebastian). Erroneously, this has been reported as their debut -when in fact they have also issued How to Swim Start Life in 2D and A Little Orgasm of Disappointment.
The first thing you notice is the awesomeDiego Whirlwind, with its’ awesome harmonies and brass. The excellent 2008 double-A-side single ‘Genesis P. and Me’ and ‘From Here To Dundee Slash eternity’ also make welcome reappearance. The former is perhaps one of the few songs ever to get the word ‘pandrogyny’ into a song, but then given it is about the great genesis P. Orridge, perhaps this makes sense.
Despite a little dropping of momentum six or seven tracks in, the album soon regains it. Overall this is a wonderfully quirky indie album that shows this band have come of age. If you haven’t heard it yet: sort it out!
OK folks, now not that I’m offended or anythingm, but seeing as i went to the trouble of posting the link to How To Swim it would have been nice if someone had commented on it. You’re surely not just here for free mp3s are you?!?!
Anyway, the band have very graciously allowed me to post mp3s of their latest single so here you. The a-side is an ode to Throbbing Gristle’s Genesis P.Orridge and his “Pandrogeny” body-changing experiments, taken from the perspective of his late partner. It is released on Personal Hygiene Records in the UK, and will shortly be available for download. So I hope you like it.
How To Swim are a fine, fine act hailing from Glasgow. With numbers into double figures (Deep breath, here goes: Ink Wilson – guitar, vocals; Martin Docherty – bass; Chris Brown – hitting things (sic); Sean Callaghan – guitar; Anissia Kerr – keys; Hannah Rankine – saxophone, flute; Anna Webster – vocals, keys, glockenspiel; Ross McCrae – trombone; Annie McFarlane – violin; Rich Merchant – trumpet).
Their many influences include Jim O’Rourke and Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci, and they sound pure gorgeous, as they say in Glasgow.
Go over and check them out for yourselves here and their website can be found here. Go and make friends.