The Best Local Singles of 2014: Swale, "Popular Crowd" | Live Culture

The Best Local Singles of 2014: Swale, "Popular Crowd"


  • Courtesy of Shem Roose
  • Swale
As 2014 comes to a close, we here at Seven Days are doing a lot of reviewin', revisitin' and reflectin' on the year that was. On the music front, this means selecting our seven favorite local singles and rolling them out each weekday, from December 22 through December 31 — except for Christmas, because Santa. Today's choice cut: "Popular Crowd'" by Swale.

Swale's 2014 record, The Next Instead — and the accompanying remix record, Direct Inbreds — was something like the local rock equivalent to appointment viewing television. The album was among the most anticipated of the year and, following its release, among the most universally admired. (Seriously, try to find a savvy local scenester who doesn't name it among the year's best records.)

All with good reason. Seemingly in the midst of a creative wellspring, the local art-rock veterans are at the peak of their already considerable powers. The first glimpse that explosion was coming was early in 2014, months before the record's release, in the form of a remarkable video for "Joyless," shot on frozen Lake Champlain. We loved that one, but we dig the anthemic "Popular Crowd" even more.  

(Full disclosure: Swale bassist Tyler Bolles is the brother of Seven Days music editor Dan Bolles.)