Something strangely fascinating happens when I filter my digital music library with the simple keyword “swim” — nothing but standout Grade-A™ songs:
- R.E.M.’s “Nightswimming”. The song represents R.E.M. at their commercial (and arguably creative peak) and is right up there with “Fall on Me” and “Find the River” in the upper echelon of R.E.M. songs.
- Surfer Blood’s “Swim”. Bombastic power-pop surf rock with an ocean’s worth of reverb. “Swim” plays as the musical equivalent of an extreme off-roading Jeep. Do yourself a favor and buy this right now.
- A couple singles from Canadian folk-rock band Great Lake Swimmers, “Pulling on a Line” and “Your Rocky Spine.” Both are melodic, and exude a certain pop craftiness.
- Caribou’s “Odessa” from Swim. In the same vein as Hot Chip, “Odessa” is an organic-sounding dance track with a tight flute riff and a killer bass line. Someone needs to sample this and rap over the top. Pronto!
- Tyler Ramsey’s cover of Jackson Browne’s “These Days” from A Long Dream About Swimming Across the Sea.
- Camera Obscura’s “Swimming Pool”. A twee little duet. Sample lyric: “My head’s been lying dormant like a sleepy little mouse.”
- Frightened Rabbit’s “Swim Until You Can’t See Land”. Yeah, yet another quality Scottish rock band. I swear, I don’t do this on purpose.