Who TF are Sweet Unrest?

We had a chat with Sweet Unrest following the release of their charming new indie rock love ballad ‘Falling For You’

On their earnestly sweet and unapologetically loved up new single ‘Falling For You’, rising UK indie outfit Sweet Unrest showcase the most gorgeous and thoughtful side of their sound, flanked with gorgeous orchestral instrumentation and a poignant sentimentality that feels easy to find yourself swept up in and enamoured with.

The track still contains the sense of bite and cutting edge that you would associate with the band, but sees them really expand their horizons and showcase their versatility and guile as an outfit, in the same way that iconic bands like Oasis and Pulp would have these profound moments of genius that flipped the script on their sound and afforded them a whole new dimension as artists. ‘Falling For You’ is a compelling track that highlights the depth and heart that Sweet Unrest are capable of, and makes for a captivating listening experience as a result. We love this new single, and had a chat with the band to find out a bit more about them and their journey so far.

Who TF are Sweet Unrest?

Dan: the heaviest drummer this side of the Milky Way, Tom: a city slicker turned rocker with a penchant for Punk, Marlo: a Cali surfer dude who’s confused by everything other than music, Leon: a precocious multi-instrumentalist who sometimes goes to college, and me, Jack, I write the tunes with Marlo and generally flail around the stage stealing the limelight. Together, we value the art above all else. We’re here to make tunes that put shivers on your spine and coals under your feet. The music is made for its own sake, not as a means to any kind of end. Frankly, we need to make it to feel ok, and that’s why it’s all here. We’re fans of chaos and we’re fans of poetry. To us, poetry isn’t restricted to words on a page, because language alone is limited. We like how, when paired with music, the words morph and wax, until they articulate feelings we all share, in a way that’s impossible with words alone.

How long have you been making music?

Dan says: I basically lied to my school mates that I “play drums” just for the sake of being in a band, never played before, and literally blagged my way through it 12 years ago.

Jack: I had guitar lessons when I was 8 but I learned about 3 chords in 3 years. When I was 17, something clicked in my brain; I picked up the guitar, and haven’t put it down since. It was the lockdown in 2020 that I really dedicated myself to it though. I realised that I love writing songs more than anything else. Though I didn’t know where to start and had next to no musical knowledge, I looked up to the heavens, and vowed to dedicate myself to music for the rest of my life. I just knew I had to get to London. At long last, I did and I met the band. We’ve been making music together incessantly since we met in April 2022.

Why do you make music?

Because we need to. One analogy is it feels like an itch, or perhaps being really thirsty. We are compelled to write music and feel quite mentally unwell if we don’t. For me personally, lyric writing probably also helps make sense of the cacophony of life events that seem to have no rhyme or reason. That’s it: songwriting puts the rhyme and reason into life. Quite proud of that one.

What are your biggest influences?

Romantic poetry, Britpop, and nods to Grunge. Generally, any art that somehow manages to capture an essential feeling we all share but are unable to articulate with conventional language alone. To be honest, the best songs come out of you almost instantly in a flurry of inspiration, and though I’ve tried to work out exactly what makes those songs great, they don’t seem to share any commonalities, except perhaps what we described above. Specifically, we love The Libertines, Strokes, Smashing Pumpkins, Stooges, Pulp, Fontaines, The Kinks, Bowie, New York Dolls. It’s hard to give just bands because often it’s specific songs that speak to us.

What would you say has been your best moment so far?

Honestly, probably renting a camper van, all of us piling in it at Peckham Rye, and driving to Rough Trade East to see our vinyl for Falling For You they’d just stuck on the shelves (what the music video is about). Big shout out to Owen from No Distance Records who sorted all that. It was just a laugh messing around like that. Sometimes it’s hard to find the time to mess around and to play when you’re so focused on making the tunes. Music should be play; I don’t think it’s called “playing” music by accident.

How would you describe your sound to somebody unfamiliar with it?

Dreamy wah guitars weave around introspective lyrics, tension builds, and then it all explodes and distorts into feel-good, anthemic rock n roll. A lot of our music toes the line between sadness and joy. At once, they are odes and egregious grieving. But we also think that a chorus should hit you like a freight train, and send you flying around the room in a fit of chaos and disregard. Really, it’s the tension between these two impulses that defines our sound: the impulse to play with the delicate and the sensitive, but also to make a banger that punches you in the face, and is stuck in your head for days. Keats, the poet to whom the band owes its name, called this ‘negative capability’, happily existing in two contradictory states without clamouring for one’s resolution. Our music is a celebration of that madness. To put it in our own words, ‘Rock n Roll is the only constant’.

What’s your dream “I’ve made it” moment?

The first Monday morning we wake up and commute to the studio to make tunes. Where the music isn’t competing with our jobs for our time. That and having a full arena singing our tunes word for word (bit more vain that one, isn’t it?).

We love your new single ‘Falling For You’, what more can you tell us about it?

The intro riff was brewing for a while. Marlo would incessantly jam it at the start of gigs or while we were together, but nothing came to us. Then one day, I fell in love, and the rest of of the tune actually came to me in a dream. I got up and recorded a voice note of the melody, then worked out the rest of the chords and the lyrics. Funny bit of exclusive trivia for you here: there was about a week when I thought ‘falling for you’ was too wet and we were going to change it to “calling for you”. I’m very glad we didn’t. It wouldn’t have been from the heart.

What else do you have planned for the near future?

Well, let us start this by saying we have a couple of singles coming out soon that are GAME CHANGING bangers. Tom was idly singing the sketch of one of the choruses in the pub during the Euros and someone called over “what’s that?”. He got that guy singing along before we’d even finished the lyrics for the chorus. It gives me goosebumps thinking about it. Next year is going to be very exciting for us. We’re gonna sort our first European tour and will be playing some festivals in the Summer. We’ll carry on with releasing singles every 6 weeks, because, frankly, we write a damn lot and if we don’t release this regularly, they’ll never come out – especially as we’re developing and changing musically all the time. If we leave releasing tunes too long, we’ll feel like they don’t represent us anymore. This way, we and others can trace our musical evolution and it’ll serve as a nice record.

And finally, who is your biggest fan right now?

Defo Tom’s mum. We’ll never forget that special day where everything changed for us: The day Tom’s mum discovered Instagram and went through and liked all of our posts at once. For those 6 minutes or so, we felt like proper rockstars. We’re still coming down off that now, actually.