More infective than a global pandemic (but infinitely far more enjoyable), the new single ‘Stressed Out’ from those punk pop maestros A Swift Farewell is a hyperactive, hyperkinetic bouncy blast of pure goodness. Featuring punk act Clay J Gladstone and the archetypal quiet/loud ethic, the track launches from reflective melancholic verses into the stratosphere with earthquake shattering choruses that leave you with the same oxygen-depleted giddiness you get from strenuous exercise and mountain tops.
The title and the themes reveal a dark shade than the inherent pop sensibilities of the melodies would suggest – the band says:
The song is about not expressing emotions and often hiding and burying feelings until it gets too much. We wanted to show our darker side with this track, as we felt our two previous singles were a fair bit more pop-influenced and mid-tempo. Funnily enough, its working title was actually ‘angry boi’.
Anger, frustration and a powerful delivery create a cathartic effect, and the introduction of a male voice from Clay J Gladstone singer Timothy Wisbey along with the band’s singer Emma Mather augments the visceral delivery.
The accompanying video (Colin Jeffs from Ten of Swords Media) is steeped in muted neon colours and a vibrant chaos reflecting the barely restrained emotions. Mather says of the clip:
We built the set ourselves. It was a hustle! First, we had to build huge panels of fake grass. It represents the chaotic ‘inside’ of that same person who’s pretending they’re fine but hiding all their bad feelings. Then, at the end of the video, we tried representing ‘getting buried’ by having people throw gardening soil at us while we played. We thought this was a good idea, but it was so painful as the soil was getting into our eyes and mouths and clothes.
Their suffering from their art results in something as dynamic and cathartic as the track itself:
‘Stressed Out’ can be streamed/downloaded here where you will also find details about the band’s next gig on Sunday, 27 March 2022 at the Burdekin Hotel in Sydney.