Toowomba alt-country band Suicide Swans released their new album, Reservations, late last week.
The album, the follow-up to last year’s Through The Years, was recorded in its entirety at By The Living Grace Studio in Brisbane. According to Frontman Kyle Jenkins the album is “an extension of the previous album… that captured the band’s love of Appalachian mountain music”. As Jenkins explains, the album builds upon Through The Years’ “acoustic footprint” by “re-introducing electric sounds and textures as a way of referencing the past but looking towards the bands future”.
The band’s alt-country credentials come through strong on Reservations and brings to mind many of the heavy hitters of the recent Americana wave — think The Felice Brothers, Langhorne Slim and others. All in all it’s a solid record, with nuanced and reflective lyricism backed up with impressive musicianship.
To celebrate the release of Reservations the band have put together this track by track for us. So hit play and read on to find a bit more about the stories behind the album’s tracks.
The song “You Should’ve” is about longing and trying to shift the blame to your partner for all your own idiosyncratic dispositions. It was written late at night and this late night environment is played out in the song. It’s referencing the feeling of the world being asleep and that you are still awake contemplating how you wished you were right, but know that you are wrong.
The are a number of songs of Reservations that about the human condition, related to how two individuals are abstract to each other’s existence until they meet; and then from that moment they have this intertwined path of existence amongst each others life’s. The song is about how hope is regret and desire is failure.
“Breathe” is a song about the idea of attempting to drag your partner through the hard times that you are experiencing together. It’s not a song about giving up but rather trying to not let go.
The title is a metaphor for breaking up with someone you love and realising that they hadn’t broken up with you; but that you had never been there for them to begin with. The psychological, emotional, imagined burdens you carry around on your shoulders are the walls you place up to protect yourself as an excuse for allowing yourself to never have to feel loss.
“13th Floor (Alabam)”
The song actually came out of watching an American college football documentary and how fanatical these individuals get, to the point where they lose their own identity and become something else. The song’s narrator is attempting to convince multiple personalities floating throughout the song to come back to reality, before they are lost without return due to their investment in whatever belief they are adapting and adopting to fill something in them. The song is NOT about football, but the documentary I found interesting in terms how we lose ourselves in the abstract and the other.
It’s a song, like “Hand of Mine”, of being in a city and living within a late night hedonistic space with other strangers and how for a passing moment to share the same breathe in that space for very different reasons.
It’s a song about giving someone the space and time to come back, when you try to convince yourself you’ve allowed them to go, but they actually finally left. Excuses give us all permission to not change behavior and the narrator is trying to reconcile this.
This is a song set around the idea of having dreams and being confronted with the fading of those wants and desires. The song is set around a friend who moved to LA to be actress and that whole Hollywood thing of being discovered becomes validation for your life – which it isn’t.
“Do Me Wrong”
It’s a song about literally breaking up and not trying to hurt each other. Separating the objects that sit around your shared house as an archive of mutual existence and trying to divide a collective life up.
“Hand of Mine”
Its about friends/acquaintances heading downtown in New York and scoring in and around the East Village, and getting lost amongst the city’s darkness and their personal darkness.
This is a fairly general song, set within the idea of living in a city, lost amongst the many faces and attempting to personalize that space as one in which you own. A part of that are relationships, experiences, trying to make the abstract home.