Delphic, Everything Everything, Dutch Uncles – the Manchester scene is so already overloaded with guitar bands straddling the worlds of indie and electronica that you would expect cheekily-named quintet Swiss Lips to have a hard time making themselves heard.
They may currently be working on their debut album with Ric Levy, a producer known for his work with The Verve and Korn, but in fact it’s their unabashed sense of pop which turns out to be their unique selling point.
Hailed by the NME as the missing link between Foster The People and Franz Ferdinand, frontman Sam Hammond, keyboardist Tim Estherby, guitarist Luke Daniel, bassist Tom White and drummer Nic Kozubik have already supported Blur, Ladyhawke and Bastille, and performed at the Camden Crawl, Lovebox and The Great Escape festivals since signing a four-album deal with Sony less than a year after forming in 2011.
And judging by the slow trickle of material they have released so far, all of which deal in giant euphoric choruses, gleaming synths and funky basslines, it’s only a matter of time before Swiss Lips join their fellow Mancunians into the mainstream.
Indeed, the pulsing 80s-tinged new wave of “Danz” has already clocked up nearly half a million YouTube views thanks to an inspired promo featuring a long-time hippie dancing in front of Morrissey’s favourite Salford Lads Club building. “In The Water” sounds like an unlikely mash-up of Justice’s bass-driven Gallic house with the Tango In The Night-era FM pop of Fleetwood Mac. Meanwhile, the camp falsetto-led disco of “U Got The Power” almost matches the Scissor Sisters in terms of day-glow effervescence.
A slightly gothic electro take on Frank Ocean’s blissfully chilled-out soul ballad, “Lost,” is so far the only evidence that backs up the band’s claims that their upcoming LP will be a dark affair. But whether they stick to their joyous default mode or not, Swiss Lips appear to be maintaining Manchester’s reputation as the heart of the indie-disco scene.