SWANSHIT “Remnant” C40 (self-released)

According to Swanshit’s Bandcamp page, the artist aka Christopher O’Neal hasn’t surfaced with any new music since 2008. Now whether or not that’s actually true is a matter of debate (or maybe a quick email to O’Neal, but who has that kind of time?), but here we are in 2020, a massively long twelve years removed from 2008 and the onset of the “Great Recession,” and Remnant is here to remind us that certain things can come out of absolutely nowhere and make a huge impression on us. And of course, by that I mean Remnant is poised to make a huge impression. Not sure if that came through.

“But Ryan,” you say, “how can something called ‘Swanshit’ inhabiting the drone idiom make a huge impression on me?” Well, you gotta get into the right headspace, first and foremost, and at the very least. My advice would be to put on headphones, the big aviator ones your parents had for their stereo (unless your parents are millennials, then you’re stuck with cruddy earbuds). Then you can sit in your beanbag chair and close your eyes, letting Christopher O’Neal’s guitar manipulations and pedalboard tomfoolery filter through the headgear and sock up your system. You will have a dumb, euphoric smile on your face the whole time.

The four tracks that make up Remnant dig themselves beneath your surface. They churn, they ripple, they morph. The tones, the frequencies they confine themselves to feel constant, even though that constant is ever-shifting within itself. It’s all like a slow-burn acceleration through space and time where everything is moving at half speed and distance traveled is measured in light years. But there’s this enveloping thickness to it as well that almost passes for warmth. Almost.

Don’t let Swanshit pass you by this time, because the next twelve years might be brutal without it. Allow yourself to be impressed!