Whether it’s in the most vibrant and important venues or in the streets, Sydney locals Swords are making the indie-rock that our city needs and deserves.
If you need a good taste of what Sydney’s indie-rock scene has to offer right now, then you’re best off getting a generous serving of Swords.
Despite describing their sound on Facebook as “Autumn Funk” the five piece make their own brand of alternate rock which is instantly ear-grabbing and is comparable to the likes of Yves Klein Blue. After a first listen of their debut EP Dirty Thunder, you can recognise influences in their work from an era of Surf Rock and early Rock ’n’ Roll, yet it is still noticeably modern and fresh.
Early February saw the release of a music video for the single Chipped Shoulders where the band (or rather their silhouettes) are seen all around Sydney during the annual Vivid Festival. This song is an extremely chill jam filled with great guitar tones and smooth falsetto lines. It really shows off singer Jack Starr’s excellent vocals and his ability to flex them around intricate articulations as well as really throaty screams towards the end.
This latter manner of singing is shown off once again on the EP opener Pirate Song. Upbeat and full of minor-chords, this song brings a Jazz-y, almost Latin, vibe to the table which would be amazing live. I can see it now: Everyone’s standing around the bar in-between bands. Many don’t know Swords, maybe because they came for the other bands, maybe because their friends invited them out for a drink, who knows. Then BAM! Swords open with Pirate Song and instantly heads have turned, feet move towards the stage and hips start shaking.
If you have a peak at their Facebook page (*wink, wink, nudge, nudge*), you’ll notice the picture of the band members projected onto the side of the Sydney Opera House. Next you’ll see a bunch of events for gig’s they’re playing all around the city. Then you’ll come to an album of photos of them playing a gig in the street. This is at the Reclaim the Streets party put on in December of last year in protest against the forever heated issues of excessive rents and curfews. This is great to see and shows us that Swords is not just “a band from Sydney”, they are a Sydney-band.
This is important. This is what Sydney needs – musicians who are explicitly showing their support and joining the conversation surrounding the future of our music scene. And not only this, they make sick music too!