Making music can sometimes feel like you’re drifting on the ocean, waiting for inspiration to appear like shore on the horizon. For Australian singer-songwriter Andrew Swift, the sea was the Melbourne music scene. Following the release of his acclaimed 2015 debut, Sound the Alarm, he was adrift in the sprawling waves. But coastline appeared in the form of country and Americana music. These timeless genres reinvigorated his songwriting and new music flowed around him.
Those familiar with Swift’s impressive first record will notice the left turn taken on follow-up Call Out For the Cavalry. The classic sound of American roots country fits him like a glove. One would think from listening to assured tracks like ‘Reckless Desires’ and ‘Ball & Chain’ that Swift has been plying his trade in the Australian alt-country scene since he picked up a guitar. But this is new territory for Swift and he’s quickly acclimatised.
“So much has changed for me musically between the first album and this one,” says Swift. “In hindsight I think I was floundering around the Melbourne music scene, not too sure of where I belonged. After the first album I released an EP with a band and then a solo single after that. I pretty much stopped writing for about 18 months after Sound The Alarm. But then I was nudged into the country music world, and introduced to Americana and alt-country. I felt at home and writing again came with it.”
Swift made a big first impression on the country music world when he became a Toyota Star Maker grand finalist. He also teamed up with respected Americana songwriter Gretta Ziller and the pair took an intimate show of songs and storytelling on tour to caravan parks along the East Coast of New South Wales and Victoria, en route to Tamworth Country Music Festival. Ever the dogged performer, Swift has supported the likes of Shane Nicholson, Catherine Britt, Amber Lawrence, Adam Eckersley, and Lachlan Bryan.