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Music

Stronger Hooks Prevail with Thank You Scientist's Latest Video, "Swarm" (premiere)

Jordan Blum
Photo: Sarah Sturges

New Jersey progressive rock/jazz fusion septet, Thank You Scientist are as lovably technical, zany, and catchy as ever on this latest single from their upcoming third LP, Terraformer.

When it comes to blending bizarre antics, infectiously high-pitched melodies, and staggeringly technical yet tight mixes of progressive rock, jazz fusion, orchestral, and more, no one does it better than Thank You Scientist. Signed to Evil Ink Records—which is run by Coheed and Cambria frontman Claudio Sanchez, with whom vocalist Salvatore Marrano certainly compares—the New Jersey septet's first two records, 2012's Maps of Non-Existent Places and 2016's Stranger Heads Prevail, solidified them as masters of memorable hooks and mesmerizing density. Luckily, their upcoming third outing, Terraformer, is right around the corner. To help assuage anticipation, the troupe is releasing a video for the LP's final single, "Swarm", and it unabashedly presents everything that makes Thank You Scientist so endearingly characteristic and commendable.

Check out the video for "Swarm" and let us know what you think. Also, be sure to get your copy of the track now (via any streaming platform), as well as Terraformer when it releases on 14 June.

According to guitarist Tom Monda, "'Swarm' is a song about reconciling with the fact that every small decision you've made is responsible for where you are presently, and the endless obsession over the 'what if's'." Kicking off with a progressive metal onslaught of hyperactive electric guitar riffs, bass lines, and percussion, a flurry of horns soon adds to the chaos. In typical Thank You Scientist fashion, the arrangement remains hectic but more manageable as Marrano chimes in with elevated sing-along allure. This chemistry is sustained for the first half or so of "Swarm".

Afterward, a much sparser and calmer movement starts—prioritizing horns and danceable drumming beneath the vocals—until another blazingly virtuosic instrumental passage oscillates between familiar themes and newfound trickery. All in all, it perfectly captures Thank You Scientist's knack for fusing irresistible accessibility and explosive sophistication.

As for Nick Hipa's video, it's classily designed to appear like a nostalgic tongue-in-cheek trip through the advertising tropes of 1950s and 1960s America. Specifically, the fonts, colors, shapes, and products of the time—such as old televisions, microscopes, rancher homes, radios, and fast food restaurants—transition between each other while the lyrics, album title, and song title are scattered around. In a way, its old-fashioned simplicity is incongruous to the music it represents, but that's precisely what makes it—and Thank You Scientist—so boundlessly unique.

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