Americana Highways brings you this video premiere of Swallows’ song “Bring Your Dead Back Home” from their forthcoming album In the Shadow of the Seven Stars, available on March 19, 2021. In the Shadow of the Seven Stars was produced by Jeff Crandall with production assistance by Justin DeLeon; mixed by Randy Gildersleeve and Jeff Crandall with mixing assistance by Steve Murray; and engineered by Steve Murray and Randy Gildersleeve; then mastered by Tom Garneau.
Performers on “Bring Your Dead Back Home” are: Aaron Kerr on piano and cello; Jeff Crandall on vocals, electric guitar, percussion, and whispers; Justin DeLeon on cymbals; and Toni Tinetti on vocals and whispers.
The songs on In the Shadow of the Seven Stars tell the story of Frances Coles, who was murdered in 1891, possibly by Jack the Ripper. A witness to the brutal attack, who was outside the nearby Crown and Seven Stars Pub, wanted to help Frances but was too terrified to intervene and remained in the shadow of the Seven Stars. The songs on the album follow the witness as comes to believe that he is being haunted by Frances’ ghost and determines that he must find a way avenge her death.
Swallows’ cellist and bassist Aaron Kerr contributed three songs to the storyline for Swallows’ new album “In the Shadow of the Seven Stars,” including the haunting ballad “Bring Your Dead Back Home.” The subject of the song is a séance that takes place in New England in 1891, and the lyrics are meant to represent the words spoken by a spirit guide during the séance. The sparse, etherial arrangement for “Bring Your Dead Back Home” features piano, cello, hammond organ, electric guitar, cymbals and a detuned kick drum. After hearing the harmonies that vocalist Toni Tinetti had come up with for the song, the band decided to arrange the vocals as a duet with layers of tight harmonies to create an otherworldy sound for Toni’s vocal part.
The hush of the music Swallows has arranged here is a meditative connection to the spiritual.
The video for “Bring Your Dead Back Home” depicts the inner conflicts of characters in the song who are attempting to communicate across the barrier between life and death. The video mixes visual mediums and shifting timelines to create a sense of the intertwining realities of the living and the dead. It was suprising to see how effectively the song could be tied to visuals that are somewhat different than the original intent of the lyrics; however, instead of taking away from the meaning of the song, the drama between the characters in the video adds new meaning and depth to Aaron’s words and music. It is a powerful combination. — Aaron Kerr
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