Washington, D.C. based band Swoll have shared their new single Shake, which is lifted from their self-titled debut album out now via Blight Records. Swoll is the new electronic project from Matt Dowling. He has previously played bass for a handful of D.C. bands over the last decade: Deleted Scenes. the EFFECTS, Paperhaus, Joy Buttons, to name a few. Swoll’s self-titled debut album can be pre-ordered now via Bandcamp. Take a listen to Shake via Soundcloud below.
About the song, Swoll’s Matthew Dowling said, “I wanted Shake to feel both universal and ultra-personal simultaneously. From a universal standpoint, the constant deluge of communication we experience, primarily via news and social media, tends to speak to a universal inability to shake things, the word “shake” being used, of course, in the context of letting something go. We kind of can’t turn off anymore, and with that, we’re at least a little bit SWOLL with emotions like outrage and disgust (which create lucrative traction in both the news and social media). While certain events clearly warrant outrage and disgust in a principled sense, the question becomes: does every person on the planet have to be aware and to share in that experience of outrage and disgust? In some cases, maybe “yes,” in some cases, maybe “no.” I don’t have the answers, but my hunch is that our collective psychology is damaged to some degree by sharing in so much outrage and disgust with a broadness that human beings never could have experienced in real-time in the past.
I desperately needed a way to let go of what felt like a trauma, and I found a way through song. That’s the beautiful thing about music and art: they provide a mechanism to release in a healthy and meaningful way, whether you’re the maker or the viewer/listener. Anyway, I wanted to poke fun the concept of a grudge by confusing the context of the word “shake,” which in the dancy/poppy context provided by the beat, it feels more like the word “dance.” So saying “I cannot shake it” kind of feels like saying “I can’t dance,” which is somewhat funny. Much like grudge-holding, poor dancing lacks a gracefulness and confidence towards progress. However, you can at least try to dance, even if you suck at it. It’s embarrassing, but at least you’re getting somewhere, and that calls for a celebration.”
After the dissolution of Deleted Scenes in 2014, Matthew Dowling bassist of many D.C. bands over the last decade (the EFFECTS, Paperhaus, Joy Buttons) started working with Benjamin Schurr (Br’er/Blight Records) on a series of sparse, melancholic, yet hook-driven new songs. Utilizing limitations as a compositional tool, the duo focused on a spare sonic palate of old drum machines, bass, baritone guitar and haunting synths. Stylistically, SWOLL marries elements of pop, electro, rock and trap with major emphasis on grooves. Dowling’s falsetto floats atop chugging bass lines as a stark contrast to the dark growling beats, giving the music both an intimate and powerful presence.
‘Swoll’ track list
1. Back To You
3. Settle Up The Road
7. You’ve Gone Away