Olympic Swimmers, a band made up of some of Glasgow’s most ubiquitous musicians, have already bagged themselves a firm seat amongst the big boys of the unsigned music scene. They have an impressive industry following, with their first and second EP’s (One and Two respectively) receiving much acclaim, and a plethora of raving reviews of their remarkable live performances under their belts.
No Flags Will Fly, the debut album from the five piece, immediately sets itself a fairly high standard, opening with the delectable Father Said. Delicate drums and guitars aching with reverberating melodic beauty sit behind a compelling narrative vocal which captures the listener and escorts them through a four and a half minute voyage of Sigur Ros kissed, sound-scaping loveliness.
Throughout the album, Susie Smillie’s ethereal vocals carry the melodies high and with purpose, each song blissful and triumphant in its entirety, with highlights including the hyperactive Knots and a freshly recorded Apples and Pears. However, it is with Game of the Century that the album really peaks; musically it is exquisite, defiant, triumphant, building up with fraught bass lines and intense, intricate drums, into vivacious elation. If the rest of the album wasn’t so good I’d say this was definitely the stand out track.
No Flags Will Fly is a strong album, each track consistently outdoing the one before. Fallen Trees is a solid piece of sophisticated pop – bold, daring, and unashamedly upbeat. The album ends on a strong note with Rung Down The Curtain, a sombre ballad which maintains the album’s vulnerable beauty and indeed the stunning vocal performance, and finally the brilliant Mt Noah a song which mirrors the atmosphere of the first track with pretty pianos, excitable drums, weeping strings and an intoxicating melody that ensures this album ends with a aural explosion, a white light of music, leaving me going straight back to track one to start all over again.
Flags Will Fly is released on 4th June.
Review by Sheryll Armstrong