MUSIC

 

Numbody

This EP emerges after a five-year hiatus and an explosive unclogging of the channel. Dark times, some suggest, require uplifting songs. But darkness may also demand to be heard for what it is when the time is ripe. These songs were written years ago, when few dreamed of entering the scary tunnel in which the world now finds itself. The tunes sat squirming in place, stuck, unsure of where to root themselves. Now, after the death of a parent, the birth of two children, countless failed mix attempts, a cursed pandemic, and a swallowing of the world into the worrying belly of an oblivious beast, Sword at last hears these songs as grounded in the present moment. At last, 'Numbody' sounds relevant. Its release is sweet.

How to listen:

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Here in the Hurricane

 

In a new house, a new relationship, and with yet another new band lineup, a new aesthetic begins to take shape: more synths, more experimental, more influence from electronic and dance styles, both dark and light. The title track is a breakthrough to a new, underexplored place of joyful twilight and communal solitude.

 

Standout tracks: The Air, Here in the Hurricane

How to listen:

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A Sentimental Education

 

With unsteady hands Sword dragged and stitched together far-flung pieces of himself to release this, his first collection of tracks, still rooted in live band arrangements (guitar, bass, drum kit, keyboards) in a familiar but sophisticated style. The result is a kind of romantic hybrid indie rock, weirdly blooming within the overlapping shadows of two superficially opposite 70s bands, Roxy Music and Steely Dan, yet sung in a compulsively yearning, sincere voice instead of an ironic one. Reaching for dandyism, he found an honest first draft of his musical identity.

 

Standout tracks: Maybe It's Begun, Infrared, On the Precipice, Ship of Jewels

How to listen:

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City of Oblivion

 

Essentially two EPs, each recorded with a different band lineup and in a different studio, combined and released as one album, embodying Sword's ongoing search for a defining style, and ranging across several: mope rock, power pop, indie prog, new wave, shoegaze.

How to listen:

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