Photo: Mallory Turner / Courtesy of Clarion Call Media

LA Rockers Swerve Make a Dark, Romantic “Escape” (premiere)

Los Angeles' Swerve share their new single "Escape", which marries 1970s-inspired aesthetics with contemporary sensibilities.

Los Angeles rock band Swerve‘s latest track, “Escape” arrives ahead of a full-length album that will be released next year. Led by Gregory Mahdesian (vocals and guitar) and Ryan Berti (guitar and vocals), featuring Brandon Duncan (bass and vocals) and Mark Gardner (drums), Swerve delivers hook laden material that swings somewhere between Queens of the Stone Age and Oasis.

For its relatively slender running time (just over three minutes), “Escape” takes listeners on a wild ride through the past and present: Fuzz driven guitars give way to sensitive, clean tones that lend an intricacy and sophistication to a song that could have easily become nothing more than a money maker shaker. In its own way, it recalls progressive music of the 1970s as it keeps the listener on the edge of their listening chair, anticipating the next twist, turn and (the most 2020 of all words) pivot into the unexpected. Are there hints of Radiohead and Teenage Fanclub lurking in the wings? Sure. But Swerve are more than a collage of influences, landing on something that is unique to this time and this band.

“Escape’s” video proves as rewarding as the song itself. The group worked with close friend and frequent collaborator Maddie Liner (née Freeman), who has essentially worked as the group’s in-house visual artist since the beginning, even directing the outfit’s first video. “Basically”, the band says, “she knows us better than nearly anyone else.”

Though the song was written before the COVID outbreak, the group sees it as being relevant to this moment in time. “The song is a fantasy about escaping this whole mess with someone you really care about, leaving it all behind for an adventure together and proving to yourself that you have what it takes to do that”, the band adds.

For the visual component, Liner created a storyline about a devoted Swerve fan who flees Los Angeles, rides into the Mojave (in this case, her real-life husband, Derek). Maintaining the ’70s low budget 8mm vibe was easy: She mixed in original shots filmed on an iPhone taped to a can of Red Bull during the motorcycle sequences with found footage. “It’s fun, romantic, dark and funny, which is pretty much our whole thing,” the group note.

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