Surfacing: Swimming Lessons [New Artist]

on Monday, April 16, 2012
Words: Saam Das

Once upon a time, Leeds was the hub of the UK's spirited new music scene. Indeed, the NME championed bands from the area and beyond, under the "New Yorkshire" tag, which proved to be more of a curse than a blessing. There have been signs of recovery lately, with the likes of To Kill A King, Pengillys, and Aviaries all impressing. Now it's time for Swimming Lessons to step forth with a beautiful brand of experimental pop.

Ben Lewis is the man responsible for Swimming Lessons. He is best known for his work with Blood Oranges, a Los Campesinos!-esque outfit that is nothing to do with Dev Hynes and his Blood Orange moniker. Indeed, the photo I have plucked from obscurity for this post is one from the Blood Oranges book but when you're presented with no lemons, you make whatever (lemonade) you can.

Ben has opted for an entirely different direction with his solo material, taking on Animal Collective-inspired experimental pop. There's multiple layers to the two songs Ben has made available to listen and download at this moment in time, 'Hall' and 'Weighty Thread'. It is the latter that particularly stands out - a beautiful juxtaposition of shimmering ambient brilliance and majestic dream-pop.

'Hall' is similarly vibrant and to be a fan of one of the two tracks almost inevitably leads to being a fan of the other. Although you may well prove me wrong. Watch videos for the two tracks below, and download from the Soundcloud widgets.

Find more (including tour dates) at

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