Label: Merge Records
Released: 5th October 2018
After a five year break-up, Swearin’ have returned with a lo-fi delight of an album that may, despite (or perhaps because of) the long absence, be their best yet. ‘Fall Into The Sun’ carries with it an air of someone looking back at their recent past and being surprised at how far they’ve come. By dialling the volume and angst down a notch or two, the American band (now a trio) have allowed space for a new sense of identity to shimmer to the surface.
With Allison Crutchfield and Kyle Gilbride swapping vocals throughout, there is a hint of two separate bands jostling for space but, on this occasion, it works. Opener ‘Big Change’ sets the template, with an air of nostalgia falling out of Crutchfield like freeform. Having recently relocated to Los Angeles, that feeling of seeing a previous life disappear into the rear-view mirror bleeds through everything, whether it is the reminder of ‘Grow Into A Ghost’ (“Hang out with old friends, and they unknowingly remind me of who I was before we met”), or the disarming frankness of ‘Anyway’ (“It never would have worked out anyway”).
Gilbride moves other tracks in a different direction meanwhile, appearing to morph into Frank Black at times due to his uncanny resemblance to the Pixies frontman vocally – the scuzzy riffs of ‘Stabilize’ in particular could happily sit on ‘Doolittle’. But when it all comes together on the upbeat anthemic ‘Margaret’, or the driving guitar lines of ‘Untitled (LA)’, it is pure joy, forming a celebration of a band who have, somehow, survived against all the odds and emerged all the stronger for it.