Svvell.’s “Woozy” is a Doozy of an Indie-Rocker

The new single from the CDO indie rockers is “a new take on [an] old frequency.” As always, a sense of effortlessness belies the detail-rich work tucked beneath the surface.

The blur of the pandemic. The misty afterglow of mid-tempo, reverb-dowsed indie. Surely, form and content have never tangled as beautifully, like spooning lovers resisting the waking break of dawn.

A kind of contentment, but also a kind of escape. But during challenging, numbing times, who’s keeping score?

“Woozy” by Svvell. is shaping up to be the most fitting muzak while we stand transfixed in the nauseating elevator-ride that is now.

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“[It illustrates how I] felt about how much the pandemic has forced us to move backwards in fast-forward, if that makes sense,” singer-guitarist Yoo Han shares of the track that sits dead-center in the Hippo Campus/The Strokes/The Killers continuum.

He also recounts how the main riff, in fact, germinated from their drummer Jonas Berol, with the rest of the band “carefully riding” the motif. This is interesting to note because, over the course of their last EP—the brilliant Hypermnesia, which I reviewed last May—one gets a sense of the Svvell. M.O. Whereas hard rockers will heap slab upon slab on an already-solid monolith, the band and their ilk will most likely “ride it out.”

They’re cruisers more than conquerors, where the riff is talisman rather than conquest.

Or tasteful tinkerers rather than knock-everything-down redecorators, where the riff makes up the pillars of a structure, with the rest relegated to furniture.

Svvell. is not for everyone, especially not in a landscape that rewards short attention spans and ghastly bombast. They’re slow growers rather than overnight favorites, the kind of musicians who exude effortlessness despite the detail-rich work that goes into their pieces.

“Camera eyes, we victimize everywhere we go”
“What’s in it for you and me?”
“We’ll talk about it anyway”

There’s also their phraseology, distant but never cold: the uttered declarative which proves musical even on a phonetic level, where meaning is hinted at, and where sense is conveyed through atmosphere.

“We’re definitely flirting with something new but, at the same time, [sticking with] the old. It’s a new take on our old frequency,” the quintet—Yoo Han, bassist Chikent Aguilar, drummer Jonas Berol, and guitarists Ralph Tan and Anton Atienza—say in a statement, adding that, “Hopefully, our songs will connect to those in need of desperate connection.”

“Woozy” is out today. You know the drill.

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