Safe To Swim look set to make waves on the south coast in 2019, with a revamped guitar-pop sound that places them closer to the likes of Gengahr, Blaenavon and Sundara Karma.

The Brighton four-piece unleashed bittersweet recent single ‘Friends’ at Hidden Herd Festival 2018 back in September, and it’s since grabbed plaudits from Clash Magazine and EARMILK thanks to a winning mix of blistering guitars and epic hooks.

The band’s first live appearance of the year will be in support of Ed The Dog for our first Hidden Herd Presents: SPTLGHT show at Green Door Store on Friday 8th February, so we had a word with frontman James Filippides in anticipation.

How would you describe Safe To Swim to a stranger?

“Sea shanties you can mosh out to.”

Who are the biggest influences on your sound and why?

“It’s hard to pin as we listen to a variety of genres and artists, but we each have our own roots and specialities. I (James Filippides, vocals/guitar) have always been super into bands like The Strokes and various classic rock bands from an early age. George Rawlings (guitar) specialises in My Chemical Romance, George Ingledew (bass) loves his indie bands like Little Comets and Wavves, and Joe Dennis (drums) worships Dave Grohl.”

What was the best gig you’ve played so far?

“Our release show for our single ‘Friends’ at Green Door Store in November was pretty fab. We weren’t expecting to pack the room out, but we did. We also booked the venue and promoted the show ourselves, so it was stressful but totally worth it.”

You’re based in Brighton – what’s your local music scene like?

“It’s very vibrant with many, many bands for such a small city. Kind of wish it was a little bit more diverse than it is, but hey, it beats most towns.”

Who are the THREE other new artists we should listen to right now and why?

“Boniface, L Devine and Two Day Coma. Great songwriting, you’d be a fool not to listen.”

And finally, what does 2019 hold for Safe To Swim?

“We’re spending the majority of the first quarter of our year in the studio finishing off our debut EP, which will be released before summer. Between now and then we’ve got some hot singles coming your way. Expect something new within the next few weeks…”

Safe To Swim will play Hidden Herd Presents: SPTLGHT at Green Door Store on Friday 8th February in Brighton alongside Ed The Dog, Talk Show and Lacuna Bloome. Tickets are available via DICE.