The twist of 2020 for Swimm was that they signed to a label (Sunset Mesa – the brand new LA subsidiary of Australian label Sweat It Out) for the first time in their career. To have music taken away in the live context yet given a really wonderful new support system for writing and recording was bizarre but Swimm were really thankful for that silver lining. In fact, in turn Swimm wrote and recorded an album, of which their newest single “You Never Fake It” is the second single. The album will be called Best Comedown Ever.
“Can you ask me in a month??? (Scared face emoji)”
— Chris Watts of Swimm on how he is doing in 2021… so far.
“Trying as best I can to focus on sources of inspiration,” Chris explains. “When I think about the work of someone like Stacey Abrams it fills me with hope and gratitude. Learning more about heroes like John Lewis, diving into the words of James Baldwin, actively thanking any higher powers in the ether for the election of Biden and Harris—finding positivity is something I have to practice.”
“But also trying to have conversations with people with opposing views and not just exist in an echo chamber,” Chris continues. “Combining this with activities such as ingesting my dear friends’ art, trying out some Wim Hoff breathing along with writing in a gratitude journal—all of which lead to feeling a little more hopeful. Hell, my dad signed up for the Vaccination last week so I’m even hopeful I’ll get to give him a hug for the first time in a year.”
“Shit, now I’m crying for the first time in an interview.” — Chris express to Eat This Music
Back to the reason Chris Watts from SWIMM is chatting with Eat This Music, though, which is about the release of his band’s newest single, “You Never Fake It”, a song Chris reveals was actually birthed out of one rainy night in Manhattan. “We had played a show in the city and hours later I found myself exploring rain-soaked sidewalks and gothic cathedrals with a person that I really didn’t know all that well,” Chris says. “But I think the magic of that city is that it can infuse its own history and ghosts into its wanderers’ experiences.”
“I was in Brooklyn’s Green-wood cemetery a few days later and wrote the the song in what felt like an immediate romanticization of the night. Really makes me miss New York,” Chris continues.
“That’s a good question. I do feel like I realized the vision I had for it initially (which almost never happens) but now the song takes me back to the first couple weeks of quarantine and in no way do I mean this disrespectfully to those that were hurting in those first couple weeks, but there is some nostalgia attached to those first few weeks for me because I lived in this song,” Chris tells Eat This Music about the creative process of the song. “Escapism at is purest I think. Those first few weeks of quarantine saw rain in LA so that added to the unprecedented paranoia and panic made it such a tangible period of time. I dove into this song and depended on it. That and sweat pants. Heavily dependent on sweat pants and ganja.”
Because it was the beginning of the pandemic, the creative process for this single was a very solitary one. Eventually ??? brought the song to the rest of the band and they added their finishing touches but because he could do literally nothing else those first few weeks he really dove into all the parts and production for this one. It informed a lot of the direction the band would go for their upcoming album.
“This is gonna sound a little Indigo-child dream-catcher vibe but I kept hearing “Kim”, the somewhat illusory character of the song, in my head when I was recording and wanted to somehow capture the spirit of her, in the way you can capture a memory in a song,” Chris reveals on the initial collaboration with Lauren Ruth Ward. “So I texted Lauren who I had been singing with abundantly for the last year for our side project Aging Actress, and asked her to sing some words into her phone and text them back.”
Chris didn’t give Lauren the tempo or key, though, which was really silly of him now that he thinks about it but somehow what Lauren did just worked perfectly. “I guess it helps that she is the best singer on the damn planet,” he adds. “Eventually I asked her to sing on the bridge and kinda go for it for the end of the song. She’s like my best friend now and still I hear her voice and can’t believe she would do the honor of singing on a song I wrote.”
“Ineffable feeling.” — Chris on what he would like listeners to take away from Swimm’s new song.
Swimm have quite a few songs ready for their upcoming album, Best Comedown Ever. Although, they will be releasing the next song within about a month and a half. Additionally in 2021, the plan for SWIMM is to keep releasing their album one single at a time and pray at Chris’ alter of Rihanna that the band get to play them for a live audience someday.