Music to bathe in

Tom Ravenscroft opts for comfort over clever where indie's concerned and discovers he's an underwate

I like Swiftumz -- not just because they sound like they might be one of those tasty children's cold remedies that used to make you pine for sickness when you were little but because they are a slightly rubbish indie rock band that I derive a strange comfort from. I like it when bands sound like they haven't been playing together for very long and don't necessarily retain any musical talent but manage to slog out a few good tunes through sheer desire. Swiftumz give off that impression; everything slightly out of tune, time and practice. I suspect this may be a well-organised and intentional sound but I'm happy to believe it is not: I'm getting a bit bored of listening to clever and hope this isn't. Their album is called Don't Trip and is out in August.

I was told this week that I was a fan of underwater sounds. I wasn't aware if this and I'm not sure if it's something I need worry about. Then, right on cue, Dam Mantle's new EP We arrives in my life and perfectly fits this accusation; it is music that sounds like it's been put through a tap. It is warm, pretty and sleepy sounding. You should take a bath in it.

Fresh sounds from the BBC 6 Music DJ
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Brexit… Leg-sit

A new poem by Jo-Ella Sarich. 

Forgot Brexit. An ostrich just walked into the room. Actually,
forget ostriches too. Armadillos also have legs, and shoulder plates
like a Kardashian.  Then I walked in, the other version of me, the one
with legs like wilding pines, when all of them

are the lumberjacks. Forget forests. Carbon sinks are down
this month; Switzerland is the neutral territory
that carved out an island for itself. My body
is the battleground you sketch. My body is
the greenfield development, and you
are the heavy earthmoving equipment. Forget
the artillery in the hills
and the rooftops opening up like nesting boxes. Forget about

the arms race. Cheekbones are the new upper arms
since Michelle lost out to Melania. My cheekbones
are the Horsehead Nebula and you are the Russians
at warp speed. Race you to the finish. North Korea

will go away if you stop thinking
about it. South Korea will, too. Stop thinking
about my sternum. Stop thinking about
the intricacy of my mitochondria. Thigh gaps
are the new wage gaps, and mine is like
the space between the redwood stand
and the plane headed for the mountains. Look,

I’ve pulled up a presentation
with seven different eschatologies
you might like to try. Forget that my arms
are the yellow tape around the heritage tree. Forget
about my exoskeleton. Forget
that the hermit crab
has no shell of its own. Forget that the crab ever
walked sideways into the room.
Pay attention, people.

Jo-Ella Sarich is a New Zealand-based lawyer and poet. Her poems have appeared in the Galway Review and the Poetry New Zealand Yearbook 2017.

This article first appeared in the 17 August 2017 issue of the New Statesman, Trump goes nuclear