Following on from an impressively unforgettable single, it was a real pleasure to delve into the full-length 2021 album Holiday at The Secret Lake, from the UK’s own indie-rock outfit Cold Water Swimmers.
Immediately we’re welcomed with melodic appeal, rising instrumental anticipation, and catchy vocals that feel nostalgic and accessible. Breaking Hearts makes for an uplifting opener, musically bright and somewhat poetically melancholic in subject.
Entirely different to the single, a different vibe – hopeful in tone but increasingly lacking hope in lyric – this song introduces the album with brilliant musicianship and absolute passion from our leading vocalist. It urges you to listen more than once, and sets the bar well for the project that follows.
We then get the brilliantly high-octane and equally catchy anthem Love Is Insane. Enter distortion, a personally guiding protagonist, and a retro power-chord progression that again takes the true indie-rock fan back in time. As ever though, Cold Water Swimmers inject a freshly contemplative lyrical edge – keeping things well and truly rooted amidst the chaos of our modern world.
Highlights from the ten-track project include a twist of Arctic Monkeys and Brit-Pop for Burn Your Idols, a song that gets better and better as it rises and evolves and repeats. Also the sudden delicacy and intimate, personal vibe of Be My Sunshine – cutting through the noise with an acoustic introduction and poetic brilliance. Contrast matters, and this one is really well-placed within the list.
The provocative and fast-paced stomp of Replaced By Robots also aims high and hits the mark, emerging with rock and roll swagger, frightening topical relevance, and relentlessly joyful performances.
In full though, the collection is enjoyably versatile – from tone to tempo, topic to emotion, we get a range of highs and lows that aptly keep us enthralled from start to finish. Whether you want the loud-rock vibe to gear you up for the weekend, or something more thoughtful to follow along in isolation, it seems appropriate to take a Holiday at The Secret Lake.
Prior to their highly-anticipated live show this Friday in Manchester, listening to this album at volume is the perfect way to both unwind and then tightly re-wind yourself up with the weight of a complex and cruel world. Weave in more than a few good vibes anthems along the way, and the experience works its magic with ease. Undoubtedly a live band worth catching this summer.