The Commute

Notes floated down
The tunnel around
The heads of those
Gone home.
“…And a knick knack baddie whack
Give a dog a bone…”
The sound made heads
Look up from phones
And they pushed to find
The words to go
With the song they first
Heard long ago, and so
Out of place
As shoes clipped stairs
Whiplash wrenched
From daily affairs
To shuttle and chute
Through the tune in the air
To touch one another
And this time not care.
Recalling a time
Quite long ago
Making organs flip
And groan.
When they saw more worlds
Than their own
And the rectangle light
Of their phone.

Swiss Lips: The Album Review

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The self-titled debut album from Manchester band, Swiss Lips, has been a long time coming, having signed to Sony in 2011. Frontman Sam Hammond has been Twitter-vocal about record label strife causing delays on its launch, but it’s now arrived in the form of the vibrant punchbag-smacking release that you didn’t even know you needed.

The record taps into manic emotions and common experience, spray-painting them out in a rainbow synth-pop palette, unafraid of getting messy. It speaks of the confusion of love and the fear that comes with adulthood. It tells of the escape of wild nights and holds a lighter up for the loss of youth. There’s a buoyant strain of resilience and solidarity throughout and a moving intent to defend someone, everyone.

Rebel-spirited “Books” opens and the weightlifting “U Got The Power” carries the baton on in a power surge start that doesn’t waver. “Carolyn” alludes to the great story of Beat Generation figure Carolyn Cassady, whom Hammond became friends with in her last years. “Kid” is a standout track for me, it twists and pulls inside. I’m envisaging “Kid” (and gin) fuelled tears at some stage.

I was left with the sense that despite life’s hardship there is light, which is stronger, derived from unity. We’re together and it’s alright.