Dublin band Swords excellent debut album Lions & Gold has landed. It is a well worked effort by the electro pop trio, who have grown from strength to strength in recent months. The album is the result of over 10 months work that the band have been writing and recording with producer Karl Odlum, who also worked on their Black Balloon EP. The band have also been compared to the likes of Yeah Yeah Yeahs and many more.
The Swords long player opens with Myopic, which has a bass and drums intro that resembles a song you might hear The National pen. The intro of course leads to singer Diane’s softly spoken lyrics and synth driven verse.
Buildings is a groovier song than Myopic, as it packs a lot of funky drum beats and raw synth in the space of two and a half minutes.
Third track on the album 8 Life Eat slows the tempo down, as dark bass notes allow the lyrics to float above soothingly. This track is like Kate Bush singing Funeral Suits All Those Friendly People.
Hip is effortlessly beautiful with distorted vocals rising over a melancholic piano sound. The drums and bass are distant, but add that needed weight to the track.
Next we come to the first single off the album All The Boys, a track which has gathered deserved airplay on Phantom 105.2 since its release. It’s pop, it’s electro, it’s what Swords seem to do best.
The Menace sounds exactly like what the song title suggests. Chilling lyrics and piano, along with some crashing drums to boot.
The mysterious sounding Lions & Gold is quirky, with some more funky bass added in for good measure. The second single from the album is good, but maybe it misses a heavier tone to give it that extra bit of power.
Crossbeat is a minor crossfire of synth sounds that Depeche Mode would be proud of. There are a few points in this song were you might think Depeche Mode have influenced it too.
Neatly tucked in towards the end of the album, Nine Nights adds that needed bit of high tempo near the end of the record. It sets up the next track Skin You nicely.
Final track on the album Wicklow is a wonderful lullaby like track that would soothe the mind of anyone. It’s quant and delicate, a perfect album closer.
A fine effort by Swords in all, and it is sure to be high on the list of one of the album’s of the year. We could be seeing and hearing a lot more of the trio following summer festival appearances.
Best Track: All The Boys
Swords debut album is available on iTunes, Spotify and Tower Records.