Ottawa’s New Swears have shared new video for single “Dance With the Devil,” taken from their newly announced LP ‘And the Magic of Horses’, set to be released June 23rd on Dine Alone. The record is their first for the label, and follows their DIY release from 2014, Junkfood Forever, Bedtime Whatever, which helped to establish a loyal audience for the band’s distinctive brand of high energy power pop.
“Dance With the Devil” retains the rough-and-tumble charm of the band’s earlier releases, but provides an example of the way New Swears have grown as a band on this record, refining their production and arrangements to reveal their considerable abilities as songwriters.
According to Sammy, the band’s bassist, the song was written over the course of a typically long night, with the help of an old friend who used to stay with them in the semi-legendary Ottawa DIY venue they used to call home.
While New Swears’ destructive self-released videos landed them on the radar of local law enforcement, the band also earned a rep for their riotous performances, releasing two DIY LPs, and raging across Canada, the US, and Europe. These shows featuring explosions of silly string, confetti, and human pyramids saw them share a stage with likeminded rock ‘n’ rollers Diarrhea Planet, Black Lips, and PUP.
Late 2016 saw New Swears sign to Toronto’s Dine Alone Records with the release of their “Brand New Spot”/“Sugar Heavy Metal” 7”. Now, they’re racing out of the gate with their latest LP, and the Magic of Horses. With a title inspired by the classic adventure stories of the Hardy Boys, these songs combine the swagger of Thin Lizzy, the refined, hook-heavy songwriting style of Nick Lowe, and hazy country-fried laments in the vein of Kurt Vile, all delivered with the manic energy of the punk bands with whom they often share the stage.
The and the Magic of Horses recording sessions were overseen by Ottawa punk scene luminary Paul “Yogi” Granger, owner of pinball/pierogi bar House of TARG and producer of beloved albums by The White Wires, Steve Adamyk Band, and First Base. His guidance helped New Swears hone in their sharpest songs to date, matching a set of lyrics moving past the 24/7 party into existential musings on friendship, death, the afterlife, and what they hope to leave behind.
“Sustainability is the goal,” says Scru Bar. “We’ve been having so much fun doing what we’re doing over the past few years. Now that we’ve been given an opportunity to get a little more serious, it’s cool to see the impact of traveling to different cities and finding out that people were coming out to see us. We just want to keep going and going.”
“When we started this band, all we needed was a laugh,” concludes Sammy J Scorpion, quoting from the scripture of another motley crew. “Years gone by, I’d say we’ve kicked some ass.”
‘And the Magic of Horses’ is out June 23rd through Dine Alone Records.
1. Dance With the Devil
2. Warm Bodies
3. Halos in Hell
4. Comfortably Hungover
6. Le Poison
7. Cry a Lot
9. Race to the Grave
10. Walkin’ to Rockin’
April 21 – Toronto, ON – The Garrison w/ Greys & Solids
June 23 – Ottawa, ON – House of TARG (All Ages)
June 24 – Ottawa, ON – House of TARG (19+)