Concert Pick: SWOLL @ Comet Ping Pong (11/14/19)

SWOLL (Photo from FB @swollmusic, photo cred: @officialimka)

The minimalist electronic act brings their record release show to Comet Ping Pong this Thursday night.

SWOLL is on the road in support of their newest album, the sophomore release, Unwound. At the center of the band is Matthew Dowling, who has been playing in bands in the DC-area for the past 10+ years. He played bass in those acts and now SWOLL is his step forward into his own project.

The music is stripped-down, beat-driven, hooky, all shot through with a melancholic streak. Without being able to pin it down, there’s an air of the Cure to these songs; not the more pop-driven songs, but the moodier ones. That comparison isn’t quite right, but it’s the one that lingers as the music plays on.

The songs across SWOLL’s two albums (Swoll, from 2018, and the recent release, Unwound) mix electronic beats with a bass push, a sometimes-falsetto voice, and an unabashed love for electronic indie rock. There’s something very earnest to it all too, which makes for a great combination with a sound that could otherwise be clinically cold. They inject heart, and the heart beats push the drum and synth beats even further. It’s a sound you won’t want to miss.

The band and the songs all ride a line of sounding perfectly appropriate for the end of the 2010s, but also of a piece with the 1980s. It’s both throwback and of a current moment, blending influences and impacts, paving the way for future sounds. They’re worth checking out now.

Tickets are $15. Get them here.

Show begins at 9pm. Abdu Ali and Luna Honey share the ticket.


Author: Mathew Harkins

A writer and editor in Washington, DC.

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