It takes Jagged Moon less than three seconds to make their ever so gorgeous-sounding point. Experimenting with a wavy synth filter on the lead guitar, the oscillating riff which opens ‘Learn To Swim’ drives the song with a shimmering consistency until its emphatic finish. And it’ll be stuck in your head all day.
This recently-formed local five-piece have a great balance, combining old school summery vibes with grungey effects to produce something religiously unique. But it’s the introduction of latest member Alex Prince on synth which gives Jagged Moon their new edge. Prince’s layered synth sounds keep the song’s texture swelling so that at no point does the song feel empty or stretched.
This allows the other members – Jack Clayton, Dan Barber, and Ryan Hughes – to pursue their individual ideas and motifs without the song ever feeling like it’s losing its wholeness. On top of that, lead vocalist Tom Askin rejects the temptation to simply replicate the riff with his vocals, instead conjuring up a bold vocal line that switches registers to keep you on your toes throughout. Add to that a resounding chorus, and you’ve got yourself a solid three minutes of grass-roots music.
‘Learn To Swim’ is a promising debut, a controlled and slick foray into the waters of a distinctive sound. Jagged Moon have laid down a marker and their armbands are off – and I don’t think they’ll need any more swimming lessons.