Going Swimming – Can’t Wake Up
Pop music’s future and its past walk side by side in the year of grace 2023. Yes, there’s still room to explore and expand the art form. And, yes, at the same time, everything seems to have been done before. The twain have met, the future and past are holding hands. Going Swimming’s retro experimental rock functions within this paradox.
The reason for this is that by now, all of us have heard a tremendous amount of pop music, are aware of the most important pop culture references, and have certain expectations from our pop stars. In other words, all of us know what to expect. It is also true that artists will always feel inclined to push boundaries and try to discover new worlds.
Going Swimming’s “Can’t Wake Up” is a piece of hyper-up surf-rock played well within a tense, not-too-distant future. It is powered by manic garage-rock energy and by slinky, spaghetti western guitar riffs. There’s humor to this, but the music also comes equipped with a willingness to push the sound into unknown places merely for the thrill of seeing just what this will possibly do to the music.
ROMES – NOTHINGNESS
Similar artists: Nirvana
Genre: Grunge, Alternative Rock
“Oh, my, my, grunge was never meant to die!” Had Kurt Cobain lived through his fame and made it through middle age, he would likely have been singing similar words. After all, one of the Nirvana singer’s heroes, Neil Young, a man who experienced similar issues, sang the same phrase about rock n’ roll. ROMES, a band clearly inspired by the Seattle grunge rockers, is proof that, indeed, this style of music has much more staying power than expected.
Why is this so? Well, grunge isn’t just a word, genre, or fad meant to fade into history. It’s a flavor, a vibration, a combination of sounds that are meant to put you in a particular headspace. If 60s hippie music is designed to make you think of peace, then grunge is meant to make you think of all the personal struggles of modern humans.
ROMES’ “NOTHINGNESS” isn’t just looking to capture the soft-loud dynamics of Nirvana but also their inherent nihilism and stylishness. The song is built from the same kind of choppy, strummed guitar chords that Cobain was so fond of, descends into a whirlwind of sound for the chorus, and is presented using flashy, modern production. Grunge is here to stay, amigos!