As the frontman and founder of Fanfarlo, Simon Balthazar has learned a thing or two about fusing elements of seemingly disparate genres. Over the course of some 10 years and three albums, including 2014’s Let’s Go Extinct, the group has incorporated post-punk and alternative rock into its more folk-y roots.
Balthazar has taken that same all-things-go stylistic approach for his new band SWOON. A collaboration with UK musician King Knut, it’s said to “gleefully borrow from art rock, disco and post-punk,” according to a press release. SWOON, who are based out of London and Mexico City, go on to cite the likes of Arthur Russell, Laurie Anderson, and late-era Talk Talk as influences, and pride themselves on being able to “keep you wondering what will happen next” with their music.
SWOON’s first official single “Heatwave” carries out that mission to surprise and draw curiosity. Clocking in at a generous five minutes, the track plays out like a marathon through an ever-changing terrain, synths arpeggios leading the way.
In the first half alone, Balthazar and King Knut can be heard getting down to new wave and flaunting disco flair, all the while going a little wild (clink! clank! clang!) with their percussion. By the 2:15 mark, SWOON show us their full SWOON potential in terms of unpredictability and take the track to some place entirely different. The most magical aspect of the whole thing? That it all somehow totally works.
Stream “Heatwave” below.
A full-length debut from SWOON is currently in the works.