Svalbard have released the third single from their forthcoming new studio album, The Weight Of The Mask, due out on October 6th.
The track titled ‘How To Swim Down‘ is Svalbard‘s most unique and moving work to-date, featuring heart-rending, ethereal violin parts from Liam Phelan, and a profound vocal performance from Serena Cherry.
The track is accompanied by a beautiful animated video, created by Boy Tillkens. The heart-breaking animation is a delicate portrayal of humanity, detailing the tenderness and strength found in existence.
Svalbard‘s Serena Cherry commented,
“This song is about the exquisite pain and sorrowful beauty of unrequited love. I think it’s the saddest, most heart-breaking song we’ve ever written. 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.
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.
Musically, How To Swim Down saw us dive into unchartered waters with Liam adding many layers of mournful violin parts onto the track. 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.”
The Weight Of The Mask was recorded at The Ranch Production House, UK. The record was produced and mixed by Lewis Johns, with mastering by Grant Berry. Engineering was handled by Lewis Johns, assisted by Matt Janke, with additional editing by Kel Pinchin and Sebastien Sendon.
Svalbard‘s intention with their music is to make people feel less alone, and to be there for people in their darkest times. The Weight Of The Mask bravely lays out experiences of mental illness and depression, hoping to help destigmatise these topics.
The Weight Of The Mask – tracklist:
01. Faking It
02. Eternal Spirits
05. Lights Out
06. How To Swim Down
07. Be My Tomb
08. Pillar In The Sand
09. To Wilt Beneath The Weight
Svalbard finished an extensive tour across the continent supporting post-metal monoliths Cult Of Luna and Russian Circles earlier this year, and the band are currently in the midst of a string of European summer festival performances. They’ve recently played the likes of Inferno (Norway), Hellfest (France) and With Full Force (Germany), plus 2000Trees and Portals in the UK. Their remaining festival dates are listed below.
SVALBARD will be returning to the EU mainland for six headline show dates in October, which will be followed by a performance at the Cult Of Luna curated Beyond The Redshift event in London and a headline date at The Key Club in Leeds.
11-13 Aug – BE, Kortrijk, Alcatraz Festival
16-19 Aug – UK, Compton Martin, ArcTanGent
14 Oct – NL Nijmegen, Soulcrusher
15 Oct – DE Cologne, Helios 37
16 Oct – DE Berlin, Urban Spree
17 Oct – DE Dresden, Chemiefabrik
18 Oct – DE Neunkirchen, Stummsche Reithalle
19 Oct – FR Paris, Backstage By The Mill
20 Oct – UK London, Beyond The Redshift – curated by Cult Of Luna
21 Oct – UK Leeds, The Key Club
Formed in Bristol UK, Svalbard have released three studio albums, three EPs and several split releases. Their exceptional last studio album, 2020’s When I Die, Will I Get Better? was dubbed by Metal Hammer UK as “the most important British metal record of 2020”, with both Metal Hammer and Kerrang! lauding the record as a top 10 album of the year. A career milestone, it cemented Svalbard as a powerful and vital component of our global music scene.
Whilst refining their distinctive blend of euphoric black metal, post-rock and d-beat, Svalbard have incorporated a few more surprising influences along the way. From soft, mournful singing to progressive guitar leads, it showcases a sensitive dynamic that lends impact to their most crushing moments – of which there are undoubtedly many. There’s no poetry, no ambiguity – just direct, raw honesty as the quartet tackle some very uncomfortable subjects head on. This is heavy in the most evocative sense of the word. The blunt lyrics are equally as important as the music.
Vocals/Guitar – Serena Cherry
Vocals/Guitar – Liam Phelan
Drums – Mark Lilley
Bass – Matt Francis
Youtube: / @svalbardmusic