Ears Wide Open: If Climbing

If Climbing

Indie-poppers Soft Swells have been put to rest after three albums, but songwriter Tim Williams — who released three solo albums before moving to L.A. from New York and launching Soft Swells in 2012 — is back with a new project. He’s calling it If Climbing, a slightly puzzling but ultimately appropriate moniker for someone who pens ascendant pop tunes.

“The name is like the title of a book, in which each song is a chapter that expands on the initial thought starter,” Williams explains simply.

Like artists such as Avid Dancer (and of larger prominence, Nada Surf), the music draws from the guitar-pop of the distant and recent past. In Williams’ case, it’s Britpop and its lineage. Never wanting for melody, Williams’ songs possess the optimistic shimmer of a golden sunrise. It’s there on If Climbing’s first two singles, “The Good Parts,” released in June, and “Than I Was Before,” released last week.

They are the first two of three singles If Climbing will release this year. The former was produced by Absofacto (aka Jon Visger), the latter by Rob Flynn. Both are out via Austin-based Modern Outsider. Both will make you feel better than you did four minutes before pressing play.

So, to finish the hypothetical: If Climbing, we’re listening.

||| Stream: “Than I Was Before” and “The Good Parts”