Previously Swimming Girls delivered, what I consider, one of the best songs of 2019 in the form 1 2 Many. It was a cathartic piece of indie pop that left me completely speechless, so this their debut EP Existential Fears was a highly anticipated released in my calendar and after a weekend of listening to it on repeat I think it might be one of the best EP’s to come out of 2019.
The opening track to the EP is the anthemic and beautifully crafted euphoric single 1 2 Many that still gives me chills every time those guitars kick in. This is the peak of pop music, with a sensational production building a stadium anthem vibe, similar to The Cure, with the alluring lyrics painting a picture in your mind and high flying vocals soaring over it all. Easily one of my songs of the year.
This is followed up by I Don’t Wanna Get Into Heaven, an ominous title for, what is, an upbeat pop number that gets your foot tapping along to the beat in a matter of seconds. It’s more laidback 80’s styled production but that allows you to focus on the lyrics even more and that is a real highlight of this song with, “Every time I think of you waiting there on the other side / I wanna lock those golden gates,” being one of the most poignant, especially when it’s done with a whisper like vocal. Honestly that lyrics hits you like a train with it’s emotional impact.
The second half of this EP enters a more dark place, moving from anthemic pop singles to more ominous atmospheric songs with Holy Place being the perfect example of this. However for this song that change of pace is actually welcomed with the track focusing on the fear of giving someone all of your love and never really knowing if it’s going to be the right move or not. It tells a story that makes you feel as if you’re a fly on the wall watching this relationship unfold with the fear, hope and rollercoaster ride of emotions being on full display.
Pray in Silence is a beautifully heartbreaking end to this EP. It focuses on the death of Vanessa’s, the lead vocalist, father passing away and how grief can make hope seem lost. There’s so much powerful emotion in the vocals that makes you just stop whatever you’re doing and take notice of the beauty you’re beholding and get drawn into the emotionally enthralling vocal. The poetic lyricism is something to behold with the whole chorus being some of the most honest, poignant and beautifully written lyrics I’ve ever heard, “Well, I don’t believe in God / Oh, please forgive me / I’m not the only one / But if you can hear me, God / Please hold him tightly into your arms.”
Overall this EP has everything, from the uplifting and dynamic pop anthems that were made to be heard in stadiums all the way to the more minimalistic and dark pieces of music that will have you reaching for the tissues. I stand by my earlier statement, this is one of the best EPs to come out of 2019 and, maybe even, this decade.