Finding improbable beauty in the more difficult aspects of love – transcendent moments of bliss giving way to overwhelming confusion, disappointment, and loss – two-time Golden Guitar-winning songsmith Andrew Swift delivers a stunning document of heartache with expansive sophomore album The Art of Letting Go.
“These are common things that people have had happen and feel,” Swift says of the guiding thematic thread that binds The Art of Letting Go together. As he explains, shared experience of a very personal and all too familiar hurt inspired the first entry in the album’s songbook.
“I had my heart broken a few years ago, and I then had to call it off with someone else knowing I’d be doing the exact same thing to them,” Swift relates. “Phil Barton and I bonded over that and wrote ‘Never Meant to Break Your Heart’.”
Produced by the inimitable Matt Fell (Sara Storer, Shane Nicholson, Fanny Lumsden), The Art of Letting Go found Swift partnering with a host of songwriting luminaries, from the Wolfe Brothers, to Phil Barton (Lee Brice, Eli Young Band), Sinead Burgess, Jay O’Shea, Margaret Valentine, Brian Maher (Taylor Swift), and Kevin Mac (George Jones, Zac Brown Band).
“Matt’s really good at finding what the song needs,” Swift relates. “The beauty of working with a lot of different co-writers was that we did get a lot of flavour.”
Joining Swift on the album was a host of stellar players drawn from both Australia and Nashville: Josh Schuberth (Josh Pyke) on drums, Matt Fell, Ollie Thorpe on guitar, Tim Crouch (Alan Jackson, Jim Lauderdale) on fiddle, mandolin, and banjo; Rob McNelly (Miranda Lambert) on lead guitar, Sam Hawksley (Adam Brand), Pete Cornelius, Dan Biederman (Adam Eckersley Band), Andy Schrav, and Will Kimbrough (Emmylou Harris) on mandolin.
The Art of Letting Go finds Swift deploying an array of rich sonic textures, building on and expanding the sounds that made incomparable debut Call Out for the Cavalry a breakout success.
The first two singles lifted from The Art of Letting Go, ‘Never Meant To Break Your Heart’ and ‘Right On Down’, peaked at the No.4 and No.9 spots on the Country Music National AirPlay chart respectively, while third single ‘Head Full of Honey’ also cracked the Top 10 – delivering Swift his third, fourth, and fifth Top 10 singles in the past three years.
Since landing as a Toyota Starmaker grand-finalist in 2017, Andrew Swift has fast established himself as a leading light in the Australian country scene. Debut outing Call Out for the Cavalry (2018) landed at No.1 on the ARIA Australian Country Albums Chart, and spawned a string of towering singles including ‘Runaway Train’, ‘King of the Sky’, and ‘Fire & Ice’ (featuring Catherine Britt). Call Out for the Cavalry netted Swift two Golden Guitars at the 2019 CMAA Awards – for Qantas New Talent of the Year and Alternative Country Album of the Year.
Swift has been described as, “…an Australian songwriting heavyweight – with a powerfully evocative voice to match” by Country Update, and was recently signed to ABC Music.
Living out of his beloved tiny caravan, Swift has made it his life’s work to tour and perform full time, thrilling crowds in packed venues across the country. The tireless artist has toured with the Wolfe Brothers, Shannon Noll, and Felicity Urquhart, and has staged his own wildly successful Caravan Park Country Music Showcase tour. A constant visitor to Gundagai, Swift was named as the official ambassador of the iconic Dog on The Tuckerbox in 2019.
The Art of Letting Go finds Andrew Swift at the peak of his powers. Showcasing the singer’s soaring vocal, ‘Courting Calamity’ is carried on an updraft of swelling heartland rock guitars, as Swift courts disaster in the arms of a dangerous yet irresistible new love. The soulful ‘Never Meant to Break Your Heart’ charts the exquisite agony of romantic regret, before ‘Head Full of Honey’ offers up an earthy, rollicking ode to lovesickness peppered with mandolin and fiddle.
The beating heart of the album, title track ‘The Art of Letting Go’ is a glorious, heartworn torch song, while there’s an irresistible locomotive country-pop jaunt in ‘Right On Down’, a delicate hymn to the healing power of friendship in times of trouble in ‘One Breath at a Time’, and a stoned and booze-addled waltz in the languorous ‘She Loves to Get High’.
Glorious country-pop tune ‘Say the Word’ (Featuring Cass Hopetoun) couples summery sounds with illicit longing, setting the stage for soulful, slinky love song ‘Good Kind of Giving In’. ‘Taking the Blame’ is a heartsick, world-weary sway, before Swift reflects on the challenges of the past year in the meditative ‘Holding My Tongue’.
A powerful document of love, longing, and loss, The Art of Letting Go is Andrew Swift at his evocative, expressive best.