Swimming With Dolphins – Ambient Blue


Band: Swimming With Dolphins
Album: Ambient Blue
Genre: Electronic
Label: Unsigned

Track Listing:
1. Silhouettes
2. Pajama Party
3. Sunset, 1989
4. Everything’s A Miracle
5. Up In The Star

Having just signed a major label deal, one half of this project [also known as Owl City], may be a bit busy, but we still feel this is one EP you need to pay attention to in the present day. Ambient pop is slowly making a return thanks to Myspace and other social networking sites and this is one group that we feel you need to know. Swimming with Dolphins’ Ambient Blue is a swirling mix of just what we need in this cold February air.

From a swirling mix of synth and drum pad, “Silhouettes,” comes at you with class and well structured timing. It has all the makings of a top 40 dance hit, but it’s kept a more natural pace and then builds to the “bouncy 1-2” beat we’ve come to know from songs like, “Every Time We Touch.” The female vocals add this angelic sense that you just eat up. “Pajama Party,” then enters with the full male vocal lead and a near Postal Service style beat [but with more speed]. The lyrics are typical teen runaway style, but it feels refreshing thanks to a not too emphasized beat that matches the music instead of guiding it. The follow up, “Sunset, 1989,” actually, though I dislike them, begins with a Metro Station type flow that is quickly demolished as the vocals come in. It’s calm and soothing, yet makes you want to dance and in all honesty, what more could you want?

For the back half of the EP, we are greeted with, “Everything’s A Miracle,” to take us on the ending slope. I say slope because this song just pains me to the point I begin to question the songs that preceeded it. There is an over abundant use of fade on the vocals and music that sounds more like a broken record than an edgy attempt at artistry. The worst part of it all being the 5+ minute length that seems to last generations. However, there is always hope that, “Up In The Stars,” the closer, can do some salvaging. In this case, the close does do some work at reclaiming the first half, but it’s not as much as needed. This is a bit more piano lead as opposed to the normal synth which is refreshing, but the relaxed grooves I praised earlier are starting to work against the band at this point. I want some excitement in my music and this just isn’t coming through as well as the previous tracks.

In the end, Swimming With Dolphins have work to do, but what band doesn’t. I can say that in the new wave of garage band loop laden bands, this act actually shows some true talent and a possible future. This EP is currently on iTunes and comes recommended from us. It’s always good to invest in bands with a future and this one shows a lot of promise. Let’s just hope they don’t get lost in the shuffle.

*Written By: James Shotwell*
Grade: 7/10

James Shotwell
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