When we picked Finish Flag out as one of our top tips for 2020, it was arguably more in hope than expectation. We last heard from the North London quartet back in 2016, when they shared their album, Hey Also I Love You and we’ve been looking forward to new music from them ever since. Thankfully the wait is nearly over, as today the band have confirmed their new album, Swimming Pool, which was produced by Happy Accidents’ Rich Mandell, will come out on Keroleen Records in June. Ahead of that, today we’re premiering the first single from the record, Garden.
Garden is the opening track on Swimming Pools, a record described by the band as, “seven shiny new sad-pop bangers”, and as scene setting openers go, Garden is particularly impressive. Although not a song about physical planting and watering, Garden is, in a way a song about sowing seeds. Here principle songwriter Dexter Bush focuses on growth within his mental health, looking at, “the hard work required to mentally unshackle yourself from daily anxieties and insecurities, imagining one’s brain as a garden to be nurtured and maintained with love and care”.
Musically, the track is an unashamedly grandiose slice of melodic pop. Interweaving lines of chiming guitars, steady propulsive drums and rolling bass, create a meandering, gently melancholic musical base. Throughout the track the vocal is the closest thing to a constant, Dexter half-sighing out his reflective lyrics, “your bruises are shaped like the countries you made plans to go to“. Particularly wonderful are the wordless choruses, where layers of additional vocals enter, adding waves of melody to get swept up in and drift away on. Throughout, the music ebbs and flows, holding back it’s moment of release until a bombastic guitar solo arrives, appearing like it’s going to carry the track out, before giving way to the deliciously stripped back outro.
There’s something excitingly brave about Finish Flag returning with a track this intimate and subtle, an antithesis to how so many bands arrive with their loudest, most lurid slices of creativity. Garden feels like an offering, an opportunity to really listen, to climb inside Finish Flag’s music and find all the fruits of their labour waiting for you within. The only down side is you might not be able to wait for June to roll around so you can jump into their Swimming Pool and really splash around.
Swimming Pools is out June 12th via Keroleen Records. Click HERE for more information on Finish Flag