Summer really is high time for Breaks and Swells. The Seattle band’s been bringing the breezy grooves since 2013, crafting jazz-tinged, airy soul just made for these dog days.
On the face of it, “We Will Not Despair,” the fab title track from the band’s newest full-length, fits neatly into the playful sonic vibe that’s often been the band’s stock in trade. The uptempo, compact groove definitely gets under your skin, and lead singer Marquetta Miller’s soulful trill remains front and center.
But it’s a different world since Breaks and Swells began recording five years ago. The dark cloud of the current State of the Union has informed a lot of art, and Breaks and Swells’ latest single is no exception. Miller’s singing is more fiery, and the matters of the heart that have always fixated Breaks and Swells now walk hand in hand with a pronounced socio-political awareness.
The lyrics that Miller belts out on “We Will Not Despair” are pretty pointedly about a certain orange hate monger (“Your little hands grabbing what they can/and then you brag about the deed”), and the video’s bluntly-direct presentation–lyrics projected atop anti-Trump protestor stock photos and footage–hammers that home even further. True to form, Breaks and Swells let the social outrage illuminate the groove rather than subsuming it.
Listen, get woke, dance, and enjoy this premiere of “We Will Not Despair.”