Okay, so the term “pop-punk crooner” might feel like a bit of an oxymoron, but that’s honestly the only way we reckon we could do justice to the equally emotive and energising new track by Sydney outfit A Swift Farewell. ‘Sunburn’ is heady, heartfelt and hypnotising, with frontwoman Emma Mather pouring every ounce of her heart and soul into a downright captivating vocal performance. Her lyrics soar over a bed of luminous, layered guitars offering a striking contrast between crunchy, angst-driven distortion and a breezy, indie-esque shimmer.
Every so often, you’ll see a band offer up an acoustic version of a heavy track – this feels like the opposite of that. ‘Sunburn’ is a doughy, duly emotive slow-burner that’s been cranked up to 11; nothing about it should work, realistically, but it’s kind of hard to slag it off when we’re already on our 43rd listen (and, y’know, it’s also hard to slag it off when A Swift Farewell are letting us premiere the song on our website).
The track comes alongside a music video evocative of our high school scrapbooks, with a crafty, cut-and-paste aesthetic driving a montage of the band performing (both together and between their homes), shooting the shit and hanging out with their pets, all amidst a buzzy chasm of chopped-together drawings and lyrics. Filmed during the current COVID-19 lockdown in NSW, the band linked up with director Robbie Walcott, who’s also lent his skills to the likes of Down For Tomorrow, Jofi and KYRK.
On the video’s enthralling concept, drummer Dwayne Morris says: “We initially wanted to film a live music video of us playing the song at our headline show. However, with the ever-changing situation, we had to find an alternative. Sarah, our bassist, messaged us one day and showed us a homemade green screen idea. From there, we hit up our good friend Robbie and the rest is history. It was a fun experience, especially since I got to hit my drums for the first time in god knows how long.”
Take a look at the video below: