The York-based alternative electronic production duo Haxby Swango was formed in 2014 from the ashes of the progressive rock act Astrae with that band’s founding members vocalist Hutchy Swango and keyboardist Jack Swango.
They have announced the release of their first free-to-download EP, ‘Banana Songs’ for Monday, February 23 and recommended for the fans of Die Antwoord, Calvin Harris, The Cure.
Influenced by the sounds of their youth (a grimey diet of hard dance, hard rock and rap), ‘Banana Songs’ is the perfect introduction to the almighty aural explosion that is Haxby Swango.
Throughout this collection, the band craft monolithic mega-disco soundscapes that smash at the senses and burrow into the brain pushing out killer hip-hop-style beats and massive pop choruses.
Vocalist Hutchy comments: “This whole EP gives a very colourful picture of what this band is about, and it’s a very strong foot forward for us.”
Nice, Velvet Underground type of cover. 😀
“5Deep” have a vivid Bollywood vibe mixed up with a hip-hop beat and some R&B flavors. It’s quite eccentric, unique and hypnotic. It’s an invitation to dance, but this is not a fancy dance track as some may expect.
“Raindance” it’s not a song, but a roller coaster. A million different tastes and flavors are mixed up and follow each other on a crazy speed. For my ears used to jazz and Mr. Bungle it’s quite fun, but for a larger audience used to more conventional dance music, this might make no sense.
“Bye-bye…explode” it’s the last peace of a fever-burned trip and feels like a pit stop in a mental hospital.
The crazy sounding Haxby Swango delivered a crazy sounding EP. I love their boldness and courage to experiment and bag to differ, but I’m afraid this attitude will not open too many doors for them. We’re living in a world where people get dumb and dumber each and every day, conformity became standard and staying out of the line will only raise eyebrows while creativity it’s a burden, not a virtue!
Haxby Swango kind of reminded me of another band based on a duo disengaged from a rock band (The Blood Brothers) called Jaguar Love. Their album “Hologram Jams” was pretty cool back in 2010, but I never heard of them ever after… They also tried an alternative approach to the dance music. I hope it will not be the case of Haxby Swango!
Talking on tracks that form this debut, the pair enthusiastically gush about their own sonic explorations, and professional development. On the EP opener, ‘5Deep’, Hutchy states: “These tracks are all really strong and unique,” he adds. “On ‘5Deep’, I wanted to make it sound like one part was influenced by world music, and the next by an American R&B beat as well as electronic rock! There are all these different elements; though every song has a really catchy chorus!”
On second track, ‘Raindance!’, Jack stresses that cultural and visual influence is just as important to the Haxby Swango sound as musical influences are: “This is a standout track for us, and it’s heavily influenced by anime themes and j-pop culture.”
For the final track on the EP, ‘Bye Bye…Explode’ the pair comment on how they have progressed as musicians and as a result, developed the song over time: “That beat was a lot different to start with; we got a lot better at producing, re-did it and created this R&B and electro-house, hard-dance-influenced track.”
The full tracklisting for ‘Banana Songs’ is as follows:
1 – ‘5Deep’
2 – ‘Raindance’
3 – ‘Bye Bye…Explode’
For the free download of the EP check their Soundcloud page on Monday, February 23:
Haxby Swango @ Soundcloud