There is something beautiful in simplicity, in stripping out all the embellishments and leaving only the essentials. That is the sentiment of "Swear 2 g-d", the re-imagined The Shivers original by Sonny Santos and Billie Marten. Its nostalgic visuals (also imagined by Santos), serve to remind us that young love isn't made up of dramatic scenes and even more dramatic proclamations. It's made up of little moments, all adding up to tell one great story.
Directed by Cristian Bravo, the video blissfully follows a couple through romantic courtyards and lazy afternoons, capturing every moment on vintage film. The bare colours and slow movements feel like a hazy memory, reminiscent of how we tend to combine loving memories and play them in our head like an old reel, focusing on trivial details and all the little things that made us fall in love in the first place.
Musically, "Swear 2 g-d" doesn't stray far from the original version. The humbling combination of Santos' and Marten's vocals gives the song a more ethereal feel, too afraid to shout lest it bursts the wonderful bubble it's in. When describing how this collaboration came about, Santos explains: "I reached out to Billie on a whim after discovering her music shortly before. I remember being in the mountains of Spain in winter listening to her tunes and really digging them, they seemed to speak to my mindset at the time. I didn't know her nor expect to ever hear back from her. It was just reaching out on a whim. Surprisingly, not only did she respond but said she'd heard of my music and liked it and would love to do it."
While the song remains vocally driven, its elegant instrumental composition played by Nicki and Matt of Laura Marling's band is the perfect finishing touch, encapsulating the delicacies and fragilities of a young love. Yes, it's simple, and devoid of any drama, but isn't that how we wish all of life could be?
You can find "Swear 2 g-d" on Santo's forthcoming debut album, Hotel de Londres, scheduled for release on July 17.