Track x Track: Swapmeet - 'Oxalis' EP

Track x Track: Swapmeet - 'Oxalis' EP

Kaurna land/Adelaide dream rockers take us through their delightful debut EP, track by track

Image credit: Mayah Salter

Formerly known as Sour Sob but now with the equally fun name of Swapmeet, the South Aussie quartet have been busy readying what would become their debut EP for the last three or so years now, with the results more than speaking for themselves with the awesome Oxalis.

A five track collection of tranquil, downtempo, shoegaze influenced dream pop and indie rock with just a dash of punk spirit running throughout, Oxalis sees Swapmeet exploring the human experience with themes including hopelessness, fear, love, content, and grief, all explored through wistful and mellow manner.

On spending three years crafting the record, the band explained this really “helped us figure out what our sound really was”, with the results proving to be tender, emotional and melodic, as engaging in stripped back acoustic passages as it is in the full-blown rock out moments.

No slouches on the live front either, Swapmeet have shared stages with the likes of The Empty Threats, Twine, Adam Newling, Shady Nasty and Ruby Gill, among others.

To celebrate the release of Oxalis, the band were kind enough to take us through it, track by track:

Ceiling Fan

Ceiling Fan is the restless desire to escape the skin and smooth bones that rest uneasily against another’s. A song dedicated to unrequited affection and a desperation for more. Ceiling Fan is the track epitomising the restless unease of loneliness. The first half of the song was written in isolation, encapsulating the desperate want to escape, romanticising the idea of being an inanimate object just to be with another.

Collision

Collision was originally created as a song for a friend’s birthday cassette; however, we latched onto the song idea and completely changed the direction it was heading. After multiple revisions of the song, very little remains from the initial idea, now sounding more like a distant relative from what appeared in our friend’s birthday present. This was introduced into our live set at the beginning of 2023 and has stuck with us since. We took a bit more of an experimental route with the production, incorporating elements from music we all gravitate towards, individually combining them into one.

Lucky

This song was written as an ode to the times when life seems weird, like you’re not even human, just a piece of flesh pretending to be one. It represents an abstract struggle with mental health and illness, and a gratefulness for the people who help you feel grounded. At the time we were listening to a bunch of Big Thief, and I loved the earnestness of it, so I wanted to make something like that. Then we dressed it all up all pretty in a recording and it was pretty cool. Collaboratively, the song was a struggle for us to get done as my faith in it as a song was somewhat wavering, but it was only thanks to the limitless encouragement and kindness of the group that it got finished. I think that just drives the meaning of the song home even more to me.

Tell Me

‘Tell me’ has existed in many different forms since first writing it as a band, however the initial idea of two opposing bass lines is all that remains. After experimenting with the song in many different forms we landed on a more electronic version of the song. We never set on recording this song for the EP however we came across the logic project many months after starting it. We found that this song was the missing piece of the puzzle that we needed for the EP. This song highlights another area where our creativity lies, which cannot always be represented in a live show. We feel we are equally as much a live band as we are a recording band, and ‘tell me’ best exhibits this. There’s a great difference between performing music to others and creating in an environment with no audience. We hope that these songs in some way can bring people into our world for a little moment.

I Wish I

This was another song that almost seems vintage to us. We often end our live shows with this song, so to us it feels like a very cohesive end for our project. I think this song was so important to get right in recording it, to make it feel so simple and still overwhelming, just the same as how it feels to perform it. I think that it ties the EP together in a holistic way with Ceiling Fan; both feel like songs which capture our first few years working together as a band perfectly.

Swapmeet's new EP Oxalis is out now

Swapmeet Swapmeet Oxalis EP Packshot

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