Swings – “Calling It” (Stereogum Premiere)

When describing music, it’s always tempting to play a game of Spot The Influence or What Other Band Does This Band Sound Like. And that can be useful, definitely, but it can also be reductive. The music of Washington, D.C. trio Swings immediately sounds a bit naggingly familiar, and you could point to elements of anyone from Codeine to Slint to Fugazi — but none of those comparisons adequately describes exactly what Swings do. Their debut album Detergent Hymns is a study in contradiction, sounding low-key and loose while still carefully composed, turning on a dime from uneasy dissonance to sweet melodicism, from relaxed noodling to a whirlwind of noise. After “Pale Trinity” and “Heavy Manner,” closing track “Calling It” is the record’s third single. It begins modestly with unpolished, boyish vocals and a sleepily rippling guitar figure, gradually picking up speed and urgency and building into a climactic eddy of percussion before swirling off into the ether. Containing a few of the most nakedly beautiful moments of the entire record, “Calling It” is an effective coda to a promising debut. Listen below.

Detergent Hymns is out on cassette 1/17 via Quiet Year Records, and it will be available digitally for free on BandCamp. Cassette preorders will be available 1/10 and include early access to the album.

Tags: Swings