Saturday, December 01, 2012

FREE SWIM A Rip-Roaring Christmas

Despite the glossy retail desperation that has been pervading our town centres and television screens since early November (even October), and despite today being the one when advent calendars have been unceremoniously ripped open, I’m not feeling very Christmassy. But here’s the new Free Swim single to challenge that.

Trademark heavy riffing and spoken word narration from our plummy voiced friend of Free Swim-EPs-of-old Quirrence are slightly in check here. Bookended by snatches of Christmas carols, in ‘A Rip-Roaring Christmas’ guitars swirl rather than snarl in a blizzard of feel-good euphoria. And Quirrence’s narration is less deranged and off-the-hook surreal; instead a fairly straight roll-call of the predictable habits and repeated activities of a typical middle class Christmas day “I wake up at 8 in the morning and stumble downstairs to find my stocking full of satsumas, Marks and Spencers underpants, and two cans of Lynx Africa for the 15th year running”. Le Creuset sauce-pans, breadmakers, Daily Mail DVDs, the Queen’s Speech, church and the Rotary Club are all present and correct too. However – SPOILER ALERT – “I wouldn’t change it for the world”. Bless ‘em - for all their maverick musical tendencies, of course Free Swim are just a bunch of sentimental softies when it comes to Yuletide.

I spend most of December ignoring anything Christmas-themed, particularly music. But this is Free Swim so it’s different. The band – who have released everything free to date via Bandcamp – are putting this song on sale on Monday 3 December via iTunes with the ambition of a Christmas Number One. However in a Twitter exchange early today, band leader Paul Coltofeanu also urged “we need to get this bad boy kicking around on Hype Machine”. These two – contradictory - impulses sum up Free Swim: they operate somewhere between commerciality and credibility but regardless of whether they achieve one or the other or both, as ever Free Swim come up trumps musically. Have a rip-roaring Christmas everyone (even if it feels a bit too early to say that).

Free Swim A Rip-Roaring Christmas [BUY]

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