I had worried that Free Swim would cease to be an active recording act. When Paul Coltofeanu (for Free Swim is him) left these shores, ending up in Prague, I was unsure what would become of his musical aliases. So it is with great relief, and no little pleasure, that I’m able to review the latest Free Swim EP.
I wouldn’t say that this EP was a return to form, the previous release was excellent, but it is a return to full-on Free Swimminess. She Dreams In Lights was a dreamy psych-pop affair that sat closer to Coltofeanu‘s other identity, The Android Angel, in terms of sound. Well Done Everyone sounds like a direct follow-up to the previous EP Dennis!, and is the perfect addition to the Free Swim catalogue.
The story is about a man who stops going out in order to save the money he needs to emigrate. During this time he immerses himeself in US TV shows, cultivates a deep respect for the actor Ian McShane and falls in love with countless female lead characters along the way.
How this story is served upo to the listener is five full-throttle guitar pop tunes. The sound of which will be imnstantly familiar to any Free Swim fan, and it is a sound that couldn’t be mistaken for any other band.
Each song is pretty great, and tells a chapter of the story sumamrised above. ‘Meal for One’ must be the only song on record that references Ian McShane in so much detail, and even includes a short biography.
‘Roaring Loudly Whilst Driving On A Good Stretch of Road’ is the best named track on the EP and certainly features the best musicianship, including a proper rock guitar solo. I don’t know how much radio play Free Swim will get gthis time around, but 6 Music really needs to get this one on their playlist.
The EP ends with ‘Fine Women’, essentially a list of women’s names (plus a few random men, Andi Peters for example) read to a typical guitar pop backing. Oddly it manages to be one of the most enjoyable songs on the EP and has much more repeat listen appeal than you’d expect. It is educational as well, if you consider finding out that Caroline Quentin is from Reigate counts as an education.
It is a real pleasure to have Free Swim back, and I hope that we’ll get the opportunity to see them play in the UK some time soon. Well done everyone indeed.
By Dorian Rogers