A vehicle for the songwriting of Iowa-based songwriter Olivia Heath, Honey Swell released their debut EP earlier this year on Tower To The Sea Records. Olivia wrote all the tracks at home, before sending the session tapes to her Pennsylvania-based collaborator, multi-instrumentalist Rachel Wild.
The result is a record of contrasts; Olivia’s songwriting is intricate, spacious and gentle, yet courtesy of perfectly judged layering, some of the tracks become dense and distorted. Fever Tree is stripped back and beautiful, reminiscent of acts like Phoebe Bridgers or Lady Lamb, however Bad City is tremendously noisy and perfectly fuzzy, like a less frenetic Mothers. With work underway on a full-length follow up, Honey Swell is an artist bristling with potential, a star in the making.
FTR: For those who don’t know who is Honey Swell?
Honey Swell is an indie rock project, shared between Olivia Heath (IA) and Rachel Wild (PA). Honey Swell started as an online collaboration in the years that followed us meeting online in 2014. The songs that I (Olivia) have written over the years, with writing and instrumental help by Rachel, are what make up honey swell.
FTR: What can you remember about your first show?
Our first show was at Colorspace Labs in Philadelphia for a live music and art event hosted by our friend Ashley Gellman back in April of this year. It was definitely an overwhelming experience, being that it was my first time in PA and my first time playing with a live band. I couldn’t have asked for a better first show, though. It was basically just a big party and everyone was really supportive.
FTR: Why do you make music? Why not another art form?
Although I do enjoy creating in different art forms, music definitely makes the most sense for me. Honey Swell is living proof that music can bring people together despite distances, physical or otherwise.
FTR: What can people expect from the Honey Swell live show?
A lot of awkwardness and bad jokes, probably. Hopefully I can get back to Philly soon so we can play full band shows again.
FTR: What’s next for Honey Swell?
Working on our first full length! It would be really fun to be able to tour with it. I miss playing shows with my friends.
They Listen To…
1. Nobody by Mitski
Her new record is i n c r e d i b l e.
2. Me & My Dog by boygenius
Oh my god, a collaboration between Lucy Dacus, Phoebe Bridgers, and Julien Baker.
The world is not ready for this kind of power.
3. Anytime by Snail Mail
I made heavy eye contact with Lindsey Jordan during this song when I saw Snail Mail live in Iowa City, so its safe to say that we’re married.
4. Strawberry Selfish by Tancred
Jess has been one of my favorite musicians for a long time. This song feels very dark and different from other Tancred tunes and I love it.
5. Clouded by Abi Reimold
We opened for Abi for our very first show in Philly. She’s incredible and this song slaps so hard.
Honey Swell’s self-titled EP is out now via Tower To The Sea. Click HERE for more information on Honey Swell.