Album Review: Swearin’ – Fall Into the Sun

By Andrew Breazeale, Contributor
[Merge; 2018]
Rating: 6/10

Key Tracks: “Margaret”, “Untitled (LA)”, “Grow into a Ghost”

Riddled with ’90s nostalgia, gritty riffs, and introspective lyrics, Swearin’ triumphantly returns to the music scene with Fall Into the Sun. After disbanding in 2015, the group has come back together to release this LP and go on tour. This rough, introspective album says goodbye to the old Swearin’ and reinvents the group in a new image. Originally the group was led vocally by Allison Crutchfield, but on this album, the two lead singers alternate songs, exchanging words between the bars. This new dynamic and new sound remind us that they are not the Swearin’ we used to know.

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Reuniting has never been so discordant. Although they sound similar to the old Swearin’, the Philadelphia-based quartet brings new themes to their music, tackling anger, guilt and maturity within this 11-track album. The breakup allowed each artist to explore new things, like Crutchfield’s solo album, Tourist in This Town, that allowed her to invent new sounds that she brought back with her. These new sounds, along with the back-and-forth nature of the album, exposes us to a dialogue between the two lead artists, Crutchfield and Kyle Gilbride, as they discuss their romantic breakup and their current problems. In “Margaret”, Crutchfield discusses the ending of the band in 2015 and how she still doubts that they will last: “I hate all my doubt / My reaction unbecoming, I just run my mouth.” Her apprehension is later settled by “Untitled (LA)”, a track that evokes feelings of love, guilt and Crutchfield’s fear that Gilbride relies on her too much.

Deeper into the album, we are exposed to more meaningful exchanges between the leads. The gorgeous and introspective “Anyway” chronicles the breakup of the band and their relationship. Crutchfield’s voice elegantly croons about how she left and how their love was never meant to be. Her delicate voice is woven throughout this album, oftentimes overshadowing Gilbride. But he also gets his fair share of standout songs. “Dogpile” is an introspective ballad that opens quietly and leads into a powerful guitar riff, narrating his feelings of loss and hopelessness after Crutchfield left him. With their relationship recounted throughout the album, this LP is more like therapy than music, allowing the artists to say goodbye to their past and the old Swearin’.

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