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Swimmer One – Outliers

Artwork: Daniel Warren

Released: 24/03/2023

A 9-track compilation on which the band revisit and remaster eight non-album tracks, a process that has led to their first new song since 2012, Twenty Years Too Soon, Twenty Years Too Late.

‘They give intelligence a good name and are more windswept than worthy. Their music has the quirky intricacy of Belle & Sebastian and the soaring atmosphere of The Blue Nile, and it is very, very good.’

The Guardian

How many bands find themselves being compared to Pulp, The Blue Nile, The Chemical Brothers, Pet Shop Boys, Belle and Sebastian, Elbow and The Who – after releasing just one song? This was how things began for Edinburgh’s Swimmer One. Their 2003 debut single, We Just Make Music For Ourselves, was immediately championed by DJs Mark Radcliffe (who discussed it at length on his daytime Radio One show), Steve Lamacq, Rob Da Bank, Vic Galloway and Jim Gellatly, as well as music critics across the UK and beyond. The single was followed by two acclaimed albums and an award-winning theatre show, Whatever Gets You Through The Night, before 10 years of activity was drawn to a close in 2013.

Now Swimmer One are celebrating their debut’s 20th birthday with a compilation, a new track and fully remastered versions of their two albums The Regional Variations (2007) and Dead Orchestras (2010).

The new song, Twenty Years Too Soon, Twenty Years Too Late, emerged from the process of revisiting old Swimmer One material. It was not written about the anniversary but takes a typically bittersweet view of the passing of time, touching on regret, the ageing process, parenthood and new beginnings.

Swimmer One was founded in 2002 by Hamish Brown and Andrew Eaton (now Andrew Eaton-Lewis). Laura Cameron-Lewis joined the line-up following The Regional Variations’ release in 2007. While the band have been on hiatus since 2013, Andrew, Hamish and Laura continue to work together frequently on music projects, films, theatre shows, and festivals.

Outside of Scotland, Swimmer One are probably best known for the song But My Heart is Broken, from the soundtrack of director David Mackenzie’s first American film Spread, starring Ashton Kutcher and Anne Heche. In their home country they are probably best known for Whatever Gets You Through The Night, an award-winning multi-media project created in 2012 with theatre director Cora Bissett (who had previously sung on two early Swimmer One songs) and playwright David Greig. The project saw the band collaborating with Ricky Ross, Eugene Kelly, Emma Pollock, Rachel Sermanni, Withered Hand, Errors, and Meursault, among others, on an acclaimed live show, album, book and film.

These new releases revisit and refine Swimmer One’s back catalogue, and provide a fresh opportunity to discover one of Scotland’s most distinctive and inventive bands.

  • Exhilarating… stirringly fresh and smart.’ The Independent
  • ‘Electropop marvels.’ Metro
  • ‘Intelligent experimental pop with quite lovely melodies.’ Scotland on Sunday
  • ‘Sublime electronic chamber pop.’ The Herald
  • ‘Their tech-packed noir-pop is frequently remarkable, glowing bright with intelligence.’ The Skinny
  • ‘One of the country’s most exciting bands.’ The List
  • ‘The missing link between Pulp and the Chemical Brothers‚ Swimmer One are making some of the the most exciting sounds to come out of Scotland at the moment.’ Jim Gellatly
We Just Make Music For Ourselves
Dir: Daniel Warren