Introducing Swell Spells with their first release "Demons." Swell Spells is a trio from Bakersfield, CA, a socially conservative oil town they describe as a "pretty shitty place." Intent on finding a way out of there, the three friends (Patrick Sena, Jarrett Alarcon, and Logan Archer) who had casually been playing in each other's bands, decided to get serious.
They studied their Oh Sees and Wavves records and set up a DIY recording space in Sena's living room. Their music is driven by their loyalty to each other as life-long friends, as they hold each other up in a place where they feel they don't belong.
"Demons" is garage rock perfection. It started with bassist Alarcon's idea for a melody that he then wrote an accompanying bass line for. Sena later took care of the rest, with help from Archer on guitar. The band tinkered with the sound for months after recording, which could have led them down a dangerous path of over-production. But they kept it lo-fi and achieved just the right balance of effects. There's a flurry of guitars always coming at you from either direction, conversing in an alternating blend of crisp directness and watery reverb. The distortion on Sena's vocals is not overdone and Archer's drums are propulsive. With this song, the band wanted to convey the uncontrollable feeling of anxiety, and they succeeded. Its constant twists and turns create a driving yet unwieldy pulse that mirrors just that. But it's also fun, and indicative of the deep bond these bandmates share.
"Demons" is off their debut record, Tell Your Friends You Love Them, which is also out today.