Indie-pop and psychedelic rock artist SWIMM has an infectious energy that truly comes across in their live performance. One thing’s for sure, their funky, indie songs will have you up and dancing. According to their bio, SWIMM is trying to “break your heart but also make you dance right through it,” which describes their sound and lyrics beautifully. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing SWIMM live at least twice, once at a free concert at the Levitt Pavillion in MacArthur Park, which I covered for mxdwn and at their self-produced third annual festival Love You Down at The Echoplex. With their annual festival, SWIMM have become a Los Angeles staple, associating with known LA acts like Warpaint, Winter, Lauren Ruth Ward and more. Frontman Chris Hess along with the band deliver a colorful, energetic performance that always engages the crowd, and their style ranges from energetic indie-pop to slow and sultry r&b.
SWIMM released their breakthrough debut full-length album, Sentimental Porno in 2018. Prior to this release, they had two EPs under their belt, and Beverly Hells and Feel. Founding members Chris Hess and Adam Winn formed SWIMM in Florida, then traded coasts and landed in Los Angeles following the release of their Feel EP in 2013.
Sentimental Porno is filled with catchy love songs, including the infamous “Love You Down,” of which their LA fest is named after. In “Love You Down,” Hess sings with his sultry, soulful voice while the instrumentals build and back off appropriately, allowing the vocals to shine. The lyrics share about a yearning love between the protagonist and an older lover with suggestive lyrics in the chorus like, “Let me love you down / Even if it takes all night / Let me love you down / With the moves it could be so right.” Take a listen here:
One of the catchiest songs off the debut album is “Uh Huh,” which turns any mood or ambiance into a party that gets everyone in the vicinity to jump up and down. The video is sensory and playful, much like the song. The lyric that stands out most to me is “It’s love that’s make me whole, but it’s making me tired,” which brings to mind the struggle of being in relationships and even of practicing self-love at times. Watch the video here:
SWIMM are still releasing new music, with new single “Feel Better” released this year. The single is quite stunning, and one you’ll want to keep going back to. The song is accompanied by this dreamy video below: