Hard-working Michigan punks The Swellers are back with a new studio album -- "The Light Under Closed Doors" -- and Billboard has an exclusive first listen at their latest bunch of driving anthems.
The Swellers have been around since 2002, when they got their start playing and recording in basements, self-releasing, and putting out music through small indie labels. Beginning in 2009, they recorded a pair of albums for pop-punk giant Fueled By Ramen (home to the likes of Paramore and Panic! At The Disco) before finally seeing eye-to-eye with the folks at No Sleep Records, who are set to release the band's fourth studio effort.
The new album actually started out as a side project, says drummer Jonathan Diener.
"We accidentally started writing the album when (frontman) Nick (Diener) and I started a side-project called High/Low, named after the pinnacle Nada Surf album," Diener says. "It was a 2-man band with baritone guitar and drums (with) heavy crushing guitars like the band Failure with smooth vocals like 90s emo. We came up with four songs, demoed the music and after liking it too much, decided these were new songs for the Swellers. We then named our favorite of the batch, 'High/Low' and it turned into one of our favorite songs."
Check out the music video for "High/Low" here:
The new album follows up the release of 2012's "Running Out Of Places To Go" EP, which led to a seven-month break, the longest of the band's career. "We wanted to come back with a bang," says Diener. "Everything from the way the songs were written to the way we recorded were very back to the basics on this new album. We wanted to stick out like a sore thumb in an over-satured world full of over-produced records."
To get that feel, the band enlisted producer/studio owner Marc Hudson, a local punk legend whom the band met through Saves the Day. Featuring other highlights like "Should" and "Becoming Self-Aware" the new album finds the Swellers making good on their back-to-basics promise.