The Empty Page - He’s Very Good at Swimming: A Powerfully Resonant Alt Indie Attack on Victim Blaming
IDLES may be getting all the glory for their politically powerful patriarchy-disturbing tracks right now. Yet, there are so many artists with the same intrinsic drive to better the world which is often all too easy to look at with complete disdain; the Manchester-based trio the Empty Page is the most perfect example I can think of.
Rather than resigning in apathy to issues such as sexual assault and victim blaming, they take to their instruments and pen lyrics to effectively dilute the disparity.
Their latest single “He’s Very Good at Swimming” follows on from their stunning 90s-inspired Alt Indie Grunge 2016 album “Unfolding” and their 2019 single “When the Cloud Explodes” which made every Mancunian with the pleasure of discovering it feels lucky to call Manchester their home.
But undoubtedly, without any dismissal of their previous artistic ingenuity, He’s Very Good at Swimming is the most important single they’ve recorded to date. The single is aural reassurance that anger towards sexual assault or misogyny as a whole is more than justified. Considering that people who raise these issues are frequently dismissed as overly sensitive or hysterical, I for one am extremely grateful for the track which serves as a stark reminder that now is not the time to be quiet or apologetic.
It’s one thing to hear anger in music, but what He’s Very Good at Swimming resonates with is the poignancy of disappointment. The visceral pain reflects in the vocals as well as the instrumental melodies until the track builds up to an explosion of the deftly stylised arrangement of intensely passionate unrestrained velocity.
You’ll take away plenty more than what is just written in the lines with He’s Very Good at Swimming, it’s so much more than a spill of anger or an offering of catharsis through solidarity. I won’t tell you what you’ll feel, you can make your own connection to the sound.
You can stream He’s Very Good at Swimming which was released on June 28th via Spotify now, or download the single via Bandcamp.
Keep up to date with the latest releases and tour dates from The Empty Page via Facebook.