“777,” the second single from New Swears’ forthcoming and the Magic of Horses LP, is out now. The track follows “Dance With The Devil,” which premiered as part of the announcement of the album in April, and sees the band explore some new sonic textures, stepping back from the scrappier, garage-influenced sound of their earlier releases.
The band’s guitarist, Scrubar, says the song stems from a unique Christmas tradition the band share.
“‘777’ was written in various locations on various acoustic guitars in this crazy place we call life and we recorded it with our pal Yogi who worked on our last record too,” he tells Exclaim. “The song’s about gambling, rolling the dice and letting the chips fall where they may, and it’s loosely based on our yearly tradition where we all pool our Christmas money together and take it to the Casino. We haven’t lost yet!”
New Swears formed in 2012 when all four members shared a room and a pair of bunk beds in the infamous DIY venue the Fun Boy Club House (RIP). This scuzzy punk paradise of Scru Bar, Sammy J Scorpion, Beej Eh, and Nick Nofun included two bars, a mini-ramp, rats scurrying through broken beer bottles, and some of the wildest live shows Canada’s capital has ever seen.
“It was such a brutal situation, living in squalor, but it was also super fun,” laughs Scru Bar. “I have days where I wish I could go back to it.”
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.