SWORD COLLECTOR by Tera Elwell
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Gothic rock trio SWORD COLLECTOR explores their affinity for intimate sounds in warm new single “Drenched In Honey”

SWORD COLLECTOR by Tera Elwell
After releasing their first single through The Bend Magazine, SWORD COLLECTOR have developed a small but passionate following, quickly running out of their first merch order as well as inspiring a cover of their song. As with their first single “The Chill”, listen below, the mesmerizing new track “Drenched In Honey” precedes a series of singles, music videos, and live events leading to the release of the band’s self-titled EP.

Combining elements of new wave and gothic rock, Sword Collector have been compared to Twin Tribes, Drab Majesty, and Choir Boy. Peppering their songs with 808, chord organ, and various unique instruments at their disposal, Sword Collector craft distinct musical moments while maintaining a critical minimalism. Recorded entirely by the band and mixed by guitarist Ryan Johnson, Sword Collector’s self-titled EP maintains an intimacy with its songwriters. Mastered by John Allen Stephens at Third Coast Recording Co (The Suffers, Camera Cult), the final result is a sonic experience both lush and personal.

The band Sword Collector formed of a South Texas triad: Ryan Johnson (guitar) of Austin, Kyle McCoy (bass, vocals) of Houston, and Carlos Cooper (synth, drum machine) of Corpus Christi. After nights sharing visions of their music, the band established core principles of radical vulnerability, sonic exploration, and spiritual immediacy. Over the sometimes-dreamy-sometimes-eerie soundscapes of Cooper and Johnson, McCoy explores existential desires, reclaims autonomy after surviving abuse, and grows the connection with their fluid gender and sexuality. Draped in a thick fog of occult, Sword Collector makes self-discovery sacred.

“Drenched In Honey,” Sword Collector’s second single, employs a wall-of-sound approach by guitarist and mixing engineer Ryan Johnson.

Ryan Johnson, on mixing “Drenched In Honey”:

“There’s this particular moment when you find yourself deep inside your own head and everything has an ambient, ethereal glow to it. With ‘Drenched In Honey,’ I wanted to tap into that moment. To achieve this, I intentionally avoided focus on any individual instrument in the mix. Instead, I added layer upon layer of complimentary instrumentation and applied a heavy wash of reverb, creating a bokeh in front of which Kyle’s voice travels.”

Lyrically, “Drenched In Honey” approaches the subject of breaking cycles of abuse, heteronormativity, and toxic masculinity.

“With ‘Drenched In Honey,’ I wanted to explore my journey of unlearning. Recently coming out as gender fluid and pansexual, I had to unpack behaviors and ideas I internalized from cultural heteronormativity. Different yet inextricably tied to that experience, I had to unpack behaviors and ideas I internalized from my biological father. My father is a staunchly right-wing, retired military man who has fought many hard battles with mental illness and alcoholism. While I believe he genuinely loves me in his own way, I do not believe that he is willing to fully acknowledge the hurt he’s caused. To this day, I self-assess as frequently as possible to escape the things I had to subconsciously normalize to survive as a young adult.” -Kyle McCoy

Featuring backing vocals by Madison Campbell of Marley Moon, “Drenched In Honey” is the first of many collaborative tracks from Sword Collector. The band intends for their music to become an expression of camaraderie and love in the face of the darkness that the world presents to us.

“Drenched In Honey” Lyrics:

I am my father’s sad son.
Loose tooth drenched in honey.
Blood surely soon to come.
Solution steadily getting runny.

That’s when the trap explodes
And we both know what comes from here.

Cruel hunter learns to paint.
Has nightmares, proof of point.
Cured? No. Better, maybe.
Pale red from palette scraped.

That’s when the trap explodes
And we both know what comes from here.

Credits:

Recorded By: Carlos Cooper, Kyle McCoy, and Ryan Johnson
Backing Vocals By: Madison Campbell of Marley Moon
Mixed By: Ryan Johnson
Mastered By: John Allen Stephens of Third Coast Recording Co
Released By: Hybrid Records

SWORD COLLECTOR on their local music scene

“The best trait of the South Texas music scene is that it cross pollinates between genres in lovely ways. While finding our sound, we worked with John Allen Stephens, Bug Bites, and Marley Moon–all of whom are quite sonically different from us and one another. Beyond that, the members of Sword Collector come from a background of hardcore and punk (any vague comparisons to Type O Negative are greatly welcomed, by the way). Even still, there are so many excellent bands that closely match our feel: Don’t Get Lemon and Monochrome Lover immediately come to mind.

My favorite show of recent was the day Boston, MA noise act Model/Actriz came to Wonky Power in Houston, TX. They performed with the aforementioned darkwave band Monochrome Lover and the alternative/indie group Astragal. The entire night was eclectic, true to South Texas form, and infinitely energizing. As we begin to travel the state, we hope to participate in similar shows that blur the lines between our current sound, the sound of our friends and collaborators, and the heavy stomping grounds where we grew as musicians.” – Kyle McCoy

Other recommended bands worth your time:

Model/Actriz

Don’t Get LemonGO HERE to see our latest feature

Bug Bites


Marley Moon

OveroGO HERE to see out latest feature

Astragal

Monochrome Lover

John Allen Stephens

LUVWEB

The Blind Owls

Gothic rock trio SWORD COLLECTOR explores their affinity for intimate sounds in warm new single “Drenched In Honey”
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