Premiere: Wilding releases sublime pop single ‘Swipe Right’

We are very pleased to premiere the video for the single ‘Swipe Right’ from Wilding, the work of UK-born and Australian resident Justin Wilding Stokes. ‘Swipe Right’ is pop eccentricity at its best and the creative mind of Wilding is accentuated by the lockdown-shot video involving dating apps, philosophical stick insects and a delicious pop sensibility.

‘Swipe Right’ is a highly enjoyable marriage of pure pop bounce mixed with an intelligent and off-kilter lyrics. Swirling fairground keyboards and chunky guitars underpin Wildings’s enigmatic vocals that recalls the verbal dexterity and indie pop sensibility of bands like the Super Furry Animals (members of whom Stokes has played with in the past) , XTC, UK Squeeze and the Arctic Monkeys, all over a sixties infused air.

Stokes says of the song’s themes:

It’s about finding human connection through online dating apps. And failing miserably.

I’ve got nothing against the apps, but I noticed so many of my friends putting all of their personal happiness on the swipe of a thumb across a screen. It’s bizarre that such a momentary decision, so disconnected from the real world, can have such an impact on your future.

Of the somewhat bizarre video, Stokes says:

One line of the song is ‘baboon chests with insect heads’ to describe your typical self-obsessed ‘dude’. During recording it kept making us laugh. So I reversed the metaphor. I swapped the dating habits of human-animals with actual animals – well, paper mâché woodland animals to be precise.

I made the video myself at home during Melbourne’s second wave lockdown. Like many people these days, I found myself questioning my life decisions and pondering my future. Hence the creation of the video’s protagonist ‘Eduardo the Existentialist stick insect’. He’s the conversation in my head. Realised through phone messages.

With an almost Pythonesque absurdity, this is a highly and amusing take on the current and very strange times we live in:

‘Swipe Right’ is being released through that talent magnet Half a Cow Records – a beacon of light in these disturbing times – and will be on Wilding’s concept album ‘The Death of Foley’s Mall’ out on Friday 2 October on Half A Cow Records/Valley Arm. The concept for the album?

My next album’s called The Death of Foley’s Mall. I was made redundant from my day job and found myself spending more time observing people, mostly old people, in my local neighbourhood of Coburg. It still has a tatty mid-20th Century Australian charm with many southern European and middle eastern migrants living here. But its character is changing rapidly. I’m a pretty nostalgic person so I wanted to capture its essence before what I like about the place is lost forever. I did that through writing about some local people and places. My old neighbour who everyday sits outside his messy odds-and-ends garage watching the world go by. A socially isolated elderly Greek woman I know. A man who keeps losing his teeth. The joys of a mobility scooter. The pokies room in the Moreland Hotel. And a couple of younger person stories too, like Swipe Right.

During the songwriting process I realised that by writing about old people, I was actually writing about my own decay and death. So this is my death album.

There’s a lot more to look forward to from Wilding. You will be able to get the single and the album here and through the link below.

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