Scottish indie-rock musician SWYM shares uplifting 'Your Distraction' EP

Indie | Sunday 10th December 2017 | Lilly

The EP was mastered by Nick Watson (Deep Purple, Coldplay, Fleetwood Mac) at Fluid Mastering, London. Swym’s debut single 'Up To You' received support from tastemaker publications The Skinny and Music Week while his latest track ‘That’s So Drugs, Man’ was premiered by CLASH Magazine.

Hailing from Aberdeen, Nassif cut his teeth on the acoustic guitar at the age of 17. He moved on to the piano, learning Beethoven Sonatas and dabbled in bass and drums. Once he was introduced to looping and recording techniques, he began to make use of the electric guitar. He now makes his living as a music tutor, classical guitarist, and producer. With the help of fellow bandmates and friends, Younes is joined in the studio by Kris Elliot on drums, Scott Bruce on vocals and Byron Burnett on bass-guitar.

Influenced by a range of artists from Led Zeppelin, Daniel Johnston and Alt-J to Leonard Cohen, Bright Eyes and Bob Dylan, as well as more complex textures from bands like Radiohead, Tame Impala, Flaming Lips and Pink Floyd, Swym’s sound is made from an excessive use of the 60s and 70s psychedelic textures and effects, such as phasers, fuzz, delays and tape flanging.

Swym also experiments with a few more unique moves such as connecting all of his guitar pedals backwards, using an old 50s wireless radio as a guitar amp, singing pop vocal-solos over jazz time signatures and using dance beats and electronic-production techniques in songs that sound closer to The Stranglers or The Doors. Guitars that sound nothing like guitars and a combination of modern and vintage synthesizers are also recurring themes throughout the record. In what might be labelled as ‘Odd-Rock’ or ‘Quirk-Pop’, Swym’s music is a swirly, fuzzy dive down the sonic rabbit hole with the occasional display of instrumental finesse thrown in.

Your Distraction is a musical movement grounded in humanism - at times defiant and confrontational, yet executed with bittersweet comedy. Although it explores topics like apathy, indulgence, consumerism, social change and pseudo-relationships, Your Distraction is far from downbeat. Swym has the uncanny ability to approach these issues with an attitude that mirrors his musical style - direct yet optimistic. With guitars being run through a 50s wireless radio and vocals going through guitar amps, the sound is ambitious but always with a naive charm.

Speaking of the EP, Nassif says: “It is an EP about the things people do to deal with, or blur out harsh realities of life. The production of the self-produced and mixed EP is a splattering of playful experimentation and the lyrics, though often dark, are laced with wit and wacky humour.”