Svalbard Detail 'How To Swim Down' In Heartbreaking New Single

16 August 2023 | 3:59 pm | Mary Varvaris
Originally Appeared In

"I cannot watch the music video for 'How To Swim Down' without crying..."


Svalbard (Source: Supplied)

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Bristol metal outfit Svalbard are releasing their new album, The Weight Of The Mask, on Friday, 8 October. Before the album arrives, the rockers have shared a new single, How To Swim Down, a heartbreaking number with an equally tragic music video.

Balancing crushing distortion with twinkly, shoegaze-inspired guitars, How To Swim Down is centred around an evocative vocal performance from Serena Cherry between tender and heavy moments.

Featuring only singing vocals, rather than screams, and the first Svalbard song with a violin, it’s the most unique song in the band’s repertoire.

“This song is about the exquisite pain and sorrowful beauty of unrequited love. I think it's the saddest, most heartbreaking song we've ever written,” Cherry commented in a statement. “Lyrically, the starting point of the verse is about concealment of adoration, before the chorus gives way to realising and accepting a fate of loving someone quietly from afar.”

The new single arrives with a beautifully sad music video with animation created by Boy Tillkens. On the music video, Cherry added, “I cannot watch the music video for How To Swim Down without crying. Boy has captured the bittersweet emotion of the song so delicately; it's an incredibly moving piece of animation to watch.”

Starring Liam Phelan on violin, Cherry said that the band reached “unchartered waters” due to his contributions.

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She continued, “Finally, violins - for the first time in Svalbard history! It feels so exciting to have new instruments on a song. Another first is that How To Swim Down features only clean vocals, no screams. I wanted the vocal delivery of these lyrics to feel as though I'm whispering a secret to someone whilst they're sleeping.

“My vocals here represent that lonely type of communication, singing to yourself in an empty house. It's a private, selfless love song, where only the listener knows of my heartache.”

Check out the music video below.

Last month, Svalbard announced their new album, The Weight Of The Mask. “If the previous record was about facing your demons, then The Weight Of The Mask is about fighting them with everything you've got,” Cherry revealed. “You can literally hear the depression transform into aggression in these songs.”

The Weight Of The Mask has been preceded by singles Faking It and Eternal Spirits, which was released in tribute to Slipknot’s Joey Jordison, who passed away in his sleep in July 2021.

You can pre-order or pre-save The Weight Of The Mask here.