Sounds Out: Now Is All – Swimmers Jackson

Posted 5 months ago in Music Reviews

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Niall ‘Swimmers’ Jackson has been busy. After releasing his debut Murmuration back in 2020 and being robbed of the chance to tour thanks to that pesky pandemic, Jackson focused on honing his craft. Between Christmas 2021 and St Patrick’s Day 2022, he hit the studio armed with his latest batch of songs, and the result is Now Is All.

Lead single Stripped Away is a plaintive shuffle that has Jackson in a winningly vulnerable mood, singing in a cracked falsetto about how the “future’s untold” and we “don’t know how this one goes.” Two tracks later, on Protest Contest, he confidently sneers at an unnamed target who sits in their “posh London bedroom” and will “take the credit but never give it.”

Jackson is a talented songwriter and he’s got range; equally comfortable with the downtempo stuff as he is with a cryptic takedown track. The personnel list on Now Is All is relatively short; Jackson’s vocals and guitar are augmented by Brendan McInerney’s drums and the multi-talented Micheál Keating’s work on guitar, synth, violins and some additional vocals. This lends Now Is All that elusive but very appealing quality whereby the instrumentation of the songs takes on a character of its own across the record.

By the time you get to closer We Crawled, your ears will be pleasantly tuned in to Jackson’s vocal quirks or the way McInerney’s drums sound and it’s a credit to Jackson’s songwriting that it’s very likely you’ll want to let the album play again from the start.

Now Is All – Swimmers Jackson

[Wonky Karousel]

Words: Joe Joyce


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