Swanning – “Sleep My Pretties”
Cynthia Ann Schemmer is a Philly-based writer and managing editor of the very awesome She Shreds magazine. She also plays guitar in Radiator Hospital and makes music of her own sometimes. (Her contribution to The Le Sigh Vol. II compilation is a particular highlight.) Next month, she’ll release Drawing Down the Moon, her debut album under the name Swanning. It’s billed primarily as a meditation on her mother, who died a decade ago from cancer — Schemmer reflects on that poignantly in a recent blog post — and lead single “Sleep My Pretties” is about how that kind of loss can be used by the people who ostensibly love you to hurt you even more. “You were brought into this world having everything,” she directly addresses those who have wronged her. “I will take you out in one solid sweep/ Don’t you look away as you writhe in my pain/ I get dangerous with age.”
“With ‘Sleep My Pretties’ I truly let myself feel anger. I wanted to give myself an unadulterated space to flow with it. The song addresses the people in my life who have hurt me—physically and emotionally,” Schemmer told Impose. “It took me years to come to terms with pain and to confront the people who repeatedly injected it into my life. It’s about stripping the power away from those who have wielded it over me, mentally or physically, and not letting them off easy. It’s about taking back your life.”
Judging from “Sleep My Pretties,” it’s obvious she’s spent some time around the Crutchfield sisters, absorbing their cadences and adopting them for herself. Their influence is also felt in the way the song builds to the same sort of cathartic swell that seems to come around organically and all at once: “My eyes are rot/ Forever in knots/ Forever unfair to you,” Schemmer intones. But despite the similarities, Schemmer’s voice comes through strong enough on its own. And, besides, the world can’t have enough heartfelt songs like this. Listen below.