Review: "Anamnesis " by SWYM

SWYM Mirror Box.jpg

Have you ever seen a fleeting image from a past life? If you ventured into that and opened it up, where would it take you? 

"Anamnesis" is defined as the remembering of things from a supposed previous existence. It's the name chosen for the 4th song on Mirror Box, an expansive record by Seattle's kaleidoscopic duo SWYM. On Anamnesis, we explore a moment that "isn't real." It's a reflective, spacious journey.

Acoustic guitar picking fades into a relaxing scene. Drums beat sparsely, while a Fleet Foxes style vocal delivery laden with luscious reverb and delay describes lying awake in bed. 

Ghostly vocals ask open-ended questions that fuel a constant search and progression through time that the entire song encapsulates:

The moment isn't real... do you even feel?

The melody has the timbre and movement that would make Tame Impala's Kevin Parker proud. Cosmic textures support the piece as it builds and rises. From an instrumentation and songwriting perspective, Anamnesis is very controlled. Bass doesn't come in until 1:00, for example, emphasizing the first chorus. 

At around 1:50 the track explodes into a quickening drum line, and instrumentation rises but is severed at 3:04, sucked down to the opening acoustic guitar.

Overall, Anamnesis feels like a slow descent onto some fascinating discovery of the mind. Epic surges of adrenaline are carefully built but are abruptly cut, as moments cease and time begins anew.

Anamnesis: the remembering of things from a supposed previous existence

Overall, the song lives up to the concept well. As the introduction describes a character lying in bed, we enter a dream-like journey that digs deeper into their existence. There's a brief moment in the piano outro that feels borrowed from the X-Files theme, beckoning the metaphysical.

From the vintage production tones, heavy use of delay, to a tastey bass fuzz solo, the 60s/70s rainbow psychedelia sound is present throughout Anamnesis, and consistent on the entire album too. Check out "K-Nynes" as well; a modern comparable sound is the Holydrug Couple

Looking forward to hearing more from SWYM. You can listen to Mirror Box, released on November 20, 2017, for free on their Bandcamp page

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