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.