Today SWIMM return with a radiant new single called “Feel Better,” which arrives with a bird’s-eye-view beach visual featured below.
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“Despite how well known the misogynistic abuses of Hollywood had become, I was deeply affected the first time I witnessed it up close,” says vocalist Chris “Cookie” Hess of his motivation for writing the song. “‘Feel Better’ was my attempt to trace things back to the start for one particular woman. To remind her of how courageous she was in leaving her hometown to come to this weird ass city to follow her dreams. Now in 2020, the song has become a makeshift mantra… that it’s important to recognize when, even if only for a moment, we feel better.”
“Feel Better” shows the Los Angeles psych-pop quartet layering atmospheric synths and guitar as they tell the story of a young woman facing sexism in the entertainment industry.
“Chris wrote and recorded the demo at the Cube (SWIMM’s shared warehouse in LA), then we went into a studio with David Davis and added the finishing touches,” drummer Adam Winn tells American Songwriter over email. Winn also directed the accompanying video.
“Whenever I’m trying to think of a music video I like to smoke, put headphones on, close my eyes and see what comes to mind while listening to the track,” he comments. “The visuals are what I was seeing: someone running free in a beautiful location, releasing their emotions and feeling better. My wonderful wife Syd [Schafer] and best bud Dan [Sripuntanagoon] were kind enough to give the idea a shot.”
“Feel Better” is SWIMM’s second release of 2020 following their recent cover of Savage Garden’s “I Want You,” which originally appeared on the latter’s 1997 self-titled album. SWIMM is currently readying their sophomore full-length, which comes after 2018’s Sentimental Porno.
“Out of necessity, we’ve become primarily self-sufficient with recording and this is by far our most intentionally cohesive grouping of songs,” says Cookie of the forthcoming album. “It’s led to a lot of collaboration amongst each other which has shone such a beautiful spotlight on everyone’s talents in the group. I feel so wildly fortunate to be in a band with these guys. I don’t mean to come off overly saccharine but God there’s really no one else in the world I’d rather create with or have by my side while we abuse our bodies. (In socially conscious ways of course.)”
Asked what’s next for SWIMM in 2020, Cookie says the band—rounded out by Hany Zayan and Marto Bisists—“will be releasing music constantly for the next year.”
“We signed with [Sweat It Out’s new] label called Sunset Mesa for this album,” he continues. “It’s the first time we’ve released music with an enthusiastic partner and after so many years of being independent it really feels lovely to have such an involved team. So the plan is to keep writing and recording, surfing to stay sane, travel inward via psilocybin since outward exploration is on hold, and continue to educate ourselves on the ways humans need to progress and hopefully be instrumentative in any way we can in the advancement of those that have been oppressed. As much as we’ve labored without stopping, we’ve all been appreciative of how the world also pressed pause for us in moments.”
“Feel Better” is out August 25 via Sunset Mesa Records.