The Swon Brothers are back with new music and their fans couldn’t be happier. Pretty Cool Scars is a six-song EP and the brothers say it’s their most authentic record to date. From the first track, you can tell this one is different from their previous work. The brothers teamed up with producer Brad Hill, who also has worked with such artists Maren Morris and Brothers Osborne, and they think he is the main force behind the change.
“Everything about this record is different from anything we’ve done, and long story short, we got to be us on this thing. We didn’t have anyone to answer to besides each other and the fans. We had a blast working with Brad Hill on this. He really brought out some sides of us that we didn’t know were there.” – Colton Swon
One big difference came with the first single, “Don’t Call Me.” Younger brother, Colton Swon, who usually sings harmony, takes lead on the verses in this song. It’s a change from what we are used to hearing from the brothers. Again, they credit Brad Hill for the switch-up.
“It kind of gave it a different edge and it just works for that song. Most of the time we steer away from doing that. Not taking anything away from my brother’s singing ability, but he just makes us sound better as a whole because he’s such a good harmony singer and I’m not. So, he kind of gives it that signature brother thing. For that song, it worked. It gave it a different character and I don’t think that it’s taking away from our sound. I think it actually enhanced it.” – Zach Swon
“About Last Night” is the only song on the EP the brothers wrote – another change from their last EP.
“We wrote one [song]. The others we kind of had in our back pockets for a while and we love them. That’s kind of the whole process. I mean, for us, it’s the best song wins. There’s so many great writers we get to work with and we are so lucky that they throw songs our way so when we hear something we fall in love with, it doesn’t matter if we wrote it or not.” – Zach Swon
The title track, “Pretty Cool Scars,” is about how growing up in a small town shapes a person into who they are. Being from a small town in Oklahoma, The Swons can relate to that feeling.
“There’s that old saying ‘there’s no place like home.’ For me, I’ve never lived in a big city so I can’t truly compare, but I’ve been to a lot of big cities, and there’s just all the relationships within the community that I don’t think you can get from a city type life. Our town isn’t super small, but when we go there, it’s home, and there are so many stories. I mean, every street in that town, we could tell you a story about growing up there, and I think that’s kind of what drew us to that song.” – Zach Swon
“Pretty Cool Scars” can be described as an anthem and that’s exactly how it plays in their concerts. Last year, while opening for Carrie Underwood on The Storyteller Tour, they would pump up the crowd and get them to repeat the “oh oh’s.” Although most in the crowd had never heard it before, they still sang along.
“The crazy story about that song is it got pitched to us a couple years ago, and I’ve wanted to cut it ever since, so the fact that we still had the opportunity, it thrilled me for this project. I think it’s a perfect album title. It can mean a lot of things, but it’s basically about the journey, and I think it’s a good description of the collection of songs that we have.” – Zach Swon
The first track on the EP, “Dwight Trashed” is an ode to 90’s country music with a twist on country artists’ names and songs to describe a night out on the town. “Take Off” is a soulful track where older brother Zach Swon gets to show off his strong vocals and “Gold” is a feel-good song where you find the best in everything and “keep making diamonds from coal and turn tonight into gold.” All six songs show growth from The Swon Brothers, but no matter how they progress, they still stay true to their sound.
“Right now, we are definitely evolving. I think we are growing up as artists and people, but the one thing that stays the same is kind of that brother harmony stuff. Stylistically and as far as on subject of songs and music and, even tones, I think all of that is evolving and getting a little more mature. I think other than that, the thing that holds it together, that’s always solid is the brother harmony.” – Zach Swon
The brothers spent most of 2016 on the road and they are looking forward to not only performing their “Swoncerts” for the fans in 2017, but also to do some more songwriting as well.
“Compared to last year I don’t know if we’ll do as many shows. Sometimes you do have to take time to actually sit down and write and be creative. And we got to do that a little bit last year, hence why we only put six songs on the record. This year I think we are really going to focus on writing and playing shows, but not as many. Not that last year wasn’t amazing, there’s just a season for everything, and we definitely have to take time and keep writing for sure.” – Colton Swon
The Swon Brothers’ Pretty Cool Scars is available digitally on all formats now. Start requesting “Don’t Call Me” to your local radio stations and be watching for the video release very soon.