Sway Wild was born from acclaimed indie-folk duo Dave McGraw & Mandy Fer. Joined by longtime friend Thom Lord they’ll release their guitar-focused, self-titled, debut album on September 13.
The video for “Chimney Fire” premiered at Glide this morning who noted, “a high energy soulful composition showcasing Fer’s biting guitar skills. Like The Wood Brothers and Lake Street Dive, Sway Wild hones a universal likeability where uptempo anthems and melodic precision prevail.”
The video is an exploration of the wildly artistic and creative spaces throughout the San Juan Islands, where the band lives in the Pacific Northwest, just a few miles away from the Canadian border.
“So much of our music is inspired by our sense of place living in the San Juan Islands, and we were excited to be able to share our island home with our listeners,” explains Fer. “The song itself was inspired after some of our neighbor friends had a chimney fire (friends were ok, house wasn’t)….I was spending some time writing in their art studio on their farm after their house had been damaged, and the song became a greater metaphor for making it through a tough time and coming out stronger on the other side.”
“Chimney Fire” follows the release of serene album opener “Comin’ and Goin’ (feat. Birds of Chicago).” Sway Wild’s songs navigate the corners of rock, folk, pop, jazz, prog, and funk. Using her beloved Fender Stratocaster for both lead pyrotechnics and chordal rhythms, often at the same time, Fer challenges the listener to comprehend how she manages to extract so much feeling from six strings and an amplifier. With this album, laden with Fer’s potent solos, she has decisively placed herself within the vanguard of female guitarists claiming their rightful place in an artistic pantheon that has historically been dominated by men.
Sway Wild was recorded in Portland, Oregon at The Hallowed Halls, a historic Carnegie Library, by engineer Justin Phelps (Cake, Galactic, Bob Weir), whose expertise at the helm is tangible in the warmth and presence of the finished product. An impressive cadre of the band’s friends and heroes brings the songs to their full, frenzied potential. Birds of Chicago and Sean Hayes provide guest vocals, members of MarchFourth add the irresistible energy of a full horn section, and cellists Skip VonKuske (Portland Cello Project) and Anna Fritz, along with Anna Tivel on violin, contribute the brooding dynamism of bowed strings.
The band is on tour now into the fall and heads to Europe to tour the Netherlands in October and November.