July 27, 2017

Premiere: Swanning - "This Whole World"

Listen to a new song from Swanning off their upcoming split with Megaflora.

Cynthia Schemmer has an incredible way with the written word. Whether it's in her zines, as an editor at She Shreds, or just free form essays in corners of the Internet, Schemmer's writing bubbles with observational beauty that's both heart-bursting and heartbreaking. But songwriting is still relatively new ground for her. Despite playing in Radiator Hospital since 2013, she released her first solo album under the moniker Swanning just over a year ago. Of course, Schemmer excelled at that as well - the six songs could standalone as poems, filled with lush and cosmic imagery as it follows Schemmer coming to terms with unparalleled grief.

Swanning has been a bit quiet since the release of Drawing Down the Moon, but next month they'll appear on a split with London-based band Megaflora. The bands hit it off while Schemmer was on tour with Radiator Hospital in the UK and decided to team up together for a short EP. The two songs on Swanning's side, "April Rain" and "This Whole World," act as dueling siblings. Both are grounded in the theme of rain, but while "April Rain" stomps and snarls with attitude, "This Whole World" turns in on itself to acknowledge a haunting episode of depression. You can read her words on the song below and stay tuned for the August 4th release of the split on Everything Sucks Music.

Cynthia Schemmer on "This Whole World": 

"'This Whole World' was written during a severe depression. I started writing it while on tour with Radiator Hospital for Allison Crutchfield's Tourist in this Town release shows on the east coast. It was a month after our UK tour, and so the setting of the song takes place in both the US and the UK. (The first line of the song, 'There's no water in Durham today....' refers to when we were in Durham, NC and the water had been contaminated and couldn't be drank, but also refers to Durham, England, which is where our friends in Martha live and holds a special place in my heart.) 

 I remember walking to the Brighton Piers (right outside London) at dusk in the rain, and finally letting myself acknowledge and understand how bad my depression was, and how it was affecting my creative work, my relationships, my social interactions, and the general well-being of my life. For a long time, I refused to really talk about my mental health, especially while on tour, because I feared ruining everyone else's good time. Behind this song is the idea that no matter how amazing your life may appear from the outside, or even in moments when deep down you know how good you have it, that depression can and will creep in. In moments of bliss, at shows surrounded by your best friends, and in the arms of someone who loves you unconditionally, those feelings will still be there—and in order to begin working on yourself, depression must be acknowledged and released into the world, but only when you're ready. I finally felt ready, and at the end of the song, during the bridge, I sing, 'I'll be the rain that falls on days electrified, my intellect falls asleep in my mind, and I'm so dried out I can't cry, so I'll be the rain.' This line represents all that I was holding in, the last straw, and here the rain is transformed—it's no longer is a bad thing, but rather a new beginning to how I handle myself and talk about my depression. It's the re-imagining of the stigma, the nourishment needed for my internal drought, the first steps to new growth."


Listen to Swanning on bandcamp.

Written by Emily Thompson