Edinburgh dance artist Barry Can’t Swim stops at Bongo on his UK tour promoting debut album ‘When Will We Land’ this Autumn.
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Multi-faceted Scottish artist Barry Can’t Swim will release his debut album ‘When Will We Land?’ on Ninja Tune, out October 20th. His broadest and most diverse project yet, the 11-track project moves from deep house to jazz, from ambience to the percussive charge of afrobeat. It’s all held together by his singular sense of purpose and that trademark vivacity; deftly finessed, it’s an album that works as a form of musical autobiography.
The incoming debut album is led by new single ‘Woman’, a fantastic blend of digital production and organic musicianship. A warm bed of notes pirouettes around an emphatic vocal from Låpsley, resulting in a song that moves between the cavernous house of Moodymann, say, and the neo-psychedelic tones of shoegaze. “I sent it out,” he recalls, “Lapsley came back immediately with this unreal vocal. I chopped it up, re-arranged it… it’s one of those things that fell into place.”
‘Woman’ follows the emphatic success of recent single ‘Sunsleeper’, which landed in the opening weeks of 2023. A dextrous and ambitious talent, Barry Can’t Swim embraces the energy of club music while also blending this with organic elements. “For me, I want it to have musicality to it,” he says of his debut album. “I wanted it to have the energy of electronic music but also with a more organic live element. I feel like I’m more of a musician than anything else. I’m a producer but I like writing music on instruments.”
The Edinburgh-born musician caught attention with a series of releases in 2020, before signing to Ninja Tune imprint Technicolour for his sensational 2022 EP ‘More Content’. Billboard named him as one of their 10 Dance Artists To Watch, while single ‘Blackpool Boulevard’ was Radio 1 playlisted – veteran broadcaster Pete Tong loved it, while influential voices such as The Blessed Madonna and Annie Mac are huge fans.
Expanding on this early promise, Barry Can’t Swim doubles down for his debut album, producing a work that feels complex but intricately unified. Utilising afrobeat drum loops for the title track, he works with choral harmonies on ‘Always Get Through To You’, and samples seminal Brazilian group Trio Ternura on joyous album highlight ‘Dance Of The Crab’.
“You only get to make your debut album once,” he points out. “So I want to showcase all the elements of the things I enjoy and love in music up to this point.”
Barry Can’t Swim will also be heading out on a UK/EU live tour later this year, with stops in Dublin, Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris, Manchester, Liverpool. Bristol, London, Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Barry Can’t Swim Live Dates:
10th Nov – The Button Factory, Dublin, Ireland
11th Nov – Bitterzoet, Amsterdam, Netherlands
15th Nov – Berghain / Kantine, Berlin, Germany
16th Nov – Le Pop Up du Label, Paris, France
17th Nov – YES, Manchester, UK
18th Nov – 24 Kitchen Street, Liverpool, UK
22nd Nov – Strange Brew, Bristol, UK
23rd Nov – St John at Hackney Church, London
24th Nov – SWG3 Studio Warehouse, Glasgow
25th Nov – The Bongo Club, Edinburgh
The Bongo Club