May 04, 2021
By Caleb Campbell
Philadelphia-based slowcore and indie folk singer/songwriter Tom Morris, a.k.a. Swim Camp, is back, sharing the B-Side to his upcoming 7” out May 7th on Know Hope Records. The 7” is Morris’ first release on Know Hope, following after the self-released lo-fi dreamscapes of his debut album, 2017’s Scuba, and the follow-up, 2019’s Barlow Hill. Morris already shared the A-Side “Stupid Thing” last month and now Morris is giving an early listen to the accompanying B-Side, “First Day Back,” premiering with Under the Radar.
In contrast to its A-Side, “First Day Back has harsher edges to it, pairing Morris’ characteristically fragile drifting vocals with noisy bursts of guitar. The instrumentation tears through the placid indie folk soundscape before returning to the plaintive intimacy of Morris’ vocals and acoustic tones for the verses. These contrasting tones push and pull until the song enters its cacophonous apex, the clambering layers of guitar enveloping the song as they carry it to a dramatic instrumental finish.
As Morris explains, “This song is a little different from how I usually conceptualize music, and because of that, it is really special to me. I am typically pretty introspective with the content of my songs, usually writing about stuff that I am experiencing or trying to understand. With ‘First Day Back’ it is one of the few times I wrote something that was more external and narrative-driven. It’s a story about two people finding each other after a long time apart and how their reconnection is a reminder of how they want to be.”
“This song fits with ‘Stupid Thing,’ almost serving as a counterpoint to the sort of lonesome ideal of that song, which was why I thought it should be the b-side on this 7”. Overall, this song came together really quickly in the studio. I didn’t think we had enough time to get it all done, but Mark Watter, who produced the session, wanted to get it. Tracking took about an hour and a half or two hours in total and it was all to tape. Most of what you hear is first or second passes, which underscores the spontaneity and invention of how I like to both write and hear in music.” Check out the song below and pre-order the 7” single here, out May 7 on Know Hope Records.