Winsomely catchy love (and death) songs, seamless harmonies, lightly propulsive rhythms, and a knack for blending the acoustic with the electronic are of few of the complex ways to describe Swedish indie-pop trio Like Swimming. The band released their debut album, ‘Structures’ in September 2014 and it showcased seven years of writing between Claes Carlström, Ida Hedene, and Petter Wesslander.
The band toured extensively with sets that included Chicago, Nashville, LA’s Culture Collide Festival, New York’s CMJ Music Marathon and Austin's SxSW. They found themselves performing their album ‘Structures’ in its purest form—acoustic, and intimately in countless unique situations-- on a medieval city wall in Sweden, in a hipster living room in Brooklyn, and a Zombie packed bar in Connecticut. They used ukuleles, pencils, glass and children’s drum kits to create new versions of the songs from the album. Each time, they found more and more energy in the songs as they became smaller and smaller, ultimately leading to the conception of the follow up EP ‘Tiny Structures.’
Then things took a different turn. Claes came to the realization that the life of touring; traveling from town to town, from club to club, from beer to beer; wasn’t a life he would be able to endure. So he moved out and hid in the swedish archipelago, and Ida and Petter found themselves suddenly producing a child instead of a new album. And that is where the story could have ended, if it wasn’t for the unrelenting urge to write music together and the fact that the life of a music group in the 2010s is way different from back when every album needed a tour plan.
The result is a double EP: 'Resistance / Relations'. The first part of the album, 'Resistance', is an attempt for the band to get all their political frustration out. Its starting points are movements like Black Lives Matter, Me Too and Climate Actions fighting against the rising extreme alt-right white supremacy groups clawing their way into parliaments all over the world.
With the political frustration out of the way, 'Relations' finds a space for all the ups and downs of personal battles. The first single, 'Comfort', tackles the emotions of sorrow and guilt when losing a beloved friend, rooted in the sentiment that we only have each other to comfort before we leave.
I wrote this song feeling how my country, my continent, my world is losing itself, with all the national populist and right wing parties in Europe and with Trump in the US winning elections. It’s an elegy of democracy.
Taking inspiration from The ballad of a thin man, this is my way to find resistance against power. I guess this is my hope for us growing from underneath and making a change.
A socially and historically-aware song tackling white privilege with passion and accuracy, “The Ground” makes it a point to acknowledge, respect, and understand who we all are and how we each got here.
Dead but dancing is actually one of our happier songs. It’s a way of finding comfort in a bizarre existence, with a little help of Kafka and Camus. As soon as we are born, it follows that we are also dead. But still, knowing this, we can’t stop dancing. There’s something beautiful in that.
Fire on the field is a battle song. This is the scene in the science fiction movie where the oppressed masses revolt against the elitist dictatorship. But I think we also see this all around us nowadays, in movements like Black Lives Matters and Me Too for example.