2020 has been hard for performers the world over, but bands have arguably suffered more than solo singer-songwriters purely through the added constraints of isolation and lockdown preventing even rehearsals, recording, or shared-room writing. Couple that with cancelled gigs and missed tour dates, and Covid 19 sounded the death-knell for a number of less adaptable collectives.
Not so LA-Based Louden Swain, though, who simply parcelled up the new music they’d been working on, switched – like many bands – to Zoom collaborations and emails, and began the mammoth task of trying to piece together a new album by proxy. In January this year they set themselves the challenge of releasing a new single every month for as long as it took to get back out on the road in support of that album.
The first – title-track – single is this: ‘Basement Of No Hope’, and what a single it is, too. Reminiscent of The Struts, Neon Animal, or White Reaper – that mix of seventies and eighties glam stylings combined with modern rock sensibilities, with perhaps some Huey Lewis and the News-style mainstream radio rock groove in there for good measure. There’s a punkiness underlying some of the guitar work, melodic and thumping in equal parts, tuneful and with a genuine ear for songwriting.
Whilst no-one wants lockdown to continue for a second longer than necessary, there’s a part of us that are – on the basis of ‘Basement Of No Hope’ – intrigued to hear what else Louden Swain might come out with before the world returns to normal.
Review by Alex Holmes