From the Other Stage at Glastonbury to an American tour supporting The 1975 Swim Deep took a well-deserved break in 2017. Having played all the cities they’d once only mythologised in teenage lyrics they returned to their respective homes and took stock of their career thus far. Eventually, the group emerged out of the quagmire with third album ‘Emerald Classics’, emboldened with a collection of their most fully fledged pop songs yet. Still sounding high on their original supply of positivity, with an undertone of crushing reality seeping through for the first time.
New 2022 EP, ‘Familiarise Yourself with Your Closest Exit’, offers five different songs written in collaboration with other artists, was born out of Swim Deep frontman Austin Williams spending over a year writing non-stop, before crashing head-first into a creative block in 2020. Sick of the sound of his own voice, he reached out to friends to see if they’d have any interest in fronting the band for four minutes. With the band sharing their own ideas remotely, Williams had built a series of “pretend pop songs” in his girlfriend’s garden shed in Golders Green that summer, fantasising about who might sing them. He sent rough ideas to artists he admired all over the world, and the demos quickly evolved into a series of collaborations as musicians from London, Manchester, Brisbane and Thailand got stuck in with what is the first new music from the band since their third album ‘Emerald Classics’, released in 2019.