Ou Est Le Swimming Pool? – should I hate them?

Mere seconds after I see the name Ou Est Le Swimming Pool?, I have decided: ‘I hate this band’.  I hate their wanky anglo-French name, their faux cheeriness and their cloying attempts to be a bit cool and clever.  What’s more, I feel like I already have half an idea what they sound like, despite knowing precisely zilch about the band, other than their being listed on Rough Trade‘s newsletter’s Other Great Stuff This Week recommendations.

My cynical suspicions are alerting me to a pre-pubescent, shouty garage-rock style, doused in preppy pretentiousness and telling tales of supposedly earth-shattering love affairs.  There will be an army of dance hooks to provide a techno edge, I predict, and no end of unrelated keyboard ripples.  The singer would be a fawning male, positioned just below Dan Black on the irritation scale, and I foresee at least one girl (with an obscenely cool haircut) in the band, most likely on guitar.  They will both remix and be remixed, the latter better than the former.

Am I right, though, or should I give bands with wanky anglo-French names a break?   A picture suggests my fears may be realised:


Nevertheles, in an unusually conciliatory moment (this is what happens on Bank Holidays), I’m going to listen to their MySpace playlist to find out…

Initial impressions: there’s no girl, but rather three boys, all from Camden and trendily coiffed.  Not sure which is the singer, but judging by their faces and names (Andelé Peligroso Pericosima, Affa da, and Fernando Percival III) I’m right about the irritation factor, and Dan Black might face a challenge after all.  Comments suggest the music is going to be pop, with critical comparisons to Passion Pit and Empire of the Sun littering the page…

… and, well, gulp, *quickly knocks up a humble pie*, it’s pretty good stuff.  It is indeed the same kind of woozy, ear-caressing electro-pop served up by PP and EOTS, but this time feels somehow a bit more chilled out, as if you’re drifting along in a very pleasant semi-conscious stupor, rather than with all capacities fully engaged.  There are a load of computery effects as I anticipated, but they all fit will in shaping these various dreamscapes. 

After four songs, a loose formula is beginning to emerge… svelte verses sung nicely by the singer, and then a high-pitched, everyone-in chorus, repeated for good measure.  That’s not quite fair, as there are differentials – a shouty solo on These New Knights; the trippy intensity of Dance The Way I Feel, easily the best track – but I think many more discrepancies will need to materialise before this trio can make a play for fully-fledged stardom.  The hunt for the swimming pool can wait.

In addition, just to try and salvage a few iotas of respect for my pathetic predictions, I find out from the fabulous Sheena Beaston blog that OELSP have recently remixed Lily Allen (yes!).

Live date:
Tues 22 September – The Legion, Shoreditch (Dance The Way I Feel single launch)

Ou Est Le Swimming Pool? on MySpace

MP3: Ou Est Le Swimming Pool? – Dance The Way I Feel (zSHARE)
Buy: Dance The Way I Feel via Young & Loss Club from 7 September.


~ by ripamel on 31/08/2009.

One Response to “Ou Est Le Swimming Pool? – should I hate them?”

  1. […] Est Le Swimming Pool? After I was rather mean about OELSP?’s faux French name, one of the band wrote me the nicest note: “Nice blog […]

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