Mere Child | Swim (new single)
There's a process I go through when I write a blog post about a song that I think is outstanding. It starts with a first listen where I find myself blown away by something in the composition, vocals, instrumentation, production, or simply how the music makes me feel. I'm usually listening to the music as I write about it. And there are the rare, precious moments when you hear something that sounds absolutely perfect and well-balanced from start to finish. Which brings me to the stunning new single, "Swim," from Brighton-based singer-songwriter Mere Child (a.k.a., Aimee Herbert-Smith).
The soft, gently-pulsing synth that is prevalent throughout "Swim" provides an immediate, ear-catching entry to the track, delicately carrying the listener through to the elevating, sparkling, EDM-like arpeggio that delicately closes the track. The journey of "Swim" evokes the emotional sensation of emerging from a pool of cool water into refreshing, bright sunlight. But it's Mere Child's smooth, ethereal and soaring vocals that are the true highlight of "Swim." There's so much atmosphere within this track, with elements that include subtle background strings, vocals with the perfect amount of room/reverb, delicate acoustic guitar, and gorgeous melody throughout.
SoundThread Music Blog recently caught up with Aimee to talk about the inspiration for "Swim", the songwriting process, and learn a bit about what's in store for Mere Child in the near future.
Congratulations on the release of "Swim" - this is really an outstanding track! Can you tell us what "swim" is about and what inspired it? Swim, in a nutshell, is about mental health. Realising that only you can 'swim' no matter how much people try and help, only you can drag yourself back into life and see that there is beauty in it. Having watched a lot of people close to me suffer with mental health issues, and having experienced many dark days myself, you know how scary it can be. When you're in that place, advice is lost and you are lost. You're battling every moment to keep your head above water, and the strength required is enormous to get yourself out of it. 'Swim' is that strength, and getting to the stage where you are able to see the light, it's faint, but it's there. How do you typically go about the songwriting process (e.g., music before/after lyrics)? Usually it's finding chords that fit a particular mood, and then the lyrics will follow. 'Swim' was unique in that sense as the lyrics were written first. The music came quite naturally and I recorded a quick demo the day I wrote it. It's rare, but very nice when it goes like that. The production and mix of 'Swim' is lovely – gently pulsing, synth-driven, atmospheric. How did the final mix come to life? So after I'd recorded the basic demo of guitars and vocals, I started playing about with some synths and drums to give it a bit more drive. It fully came to life when I passed my very rough mix to the super-talented Jim Ersatz (who remixed 'Jot of Joy' last year). He worked on the final production and mix giving it that atmosphere and drive I was aiming for.
Is there any particular story/meaning behind the project name 'Mere Child'?
No real story as such, it was more about finding a meaning that conveyed vulnerability and naivety. I'd never worked solo before, and felt quite out of my depth in the beginning, and so the name 'Mere Child' felt quite fitting. What can we expect in the near future from Mere Child?
‘Swim’ is the last single before the release of my debut EP later this year. I’m working on a few other side projects currently and aiming to put together a string of live shows before the EP is out.
Thanks to Aimee for taking the time to provide such insightful responses! Until we get our ears on the forthcoming debut EP, have a listen to "Swim" and check out Mere Child's previous single releases (see our "Related Posts" links below). As a side note, one of the side projects Aimee refers to is Morning Myth, the result of her collaboration with guitarist Ross King - definitely worth checking out as well.