Ian Sweet makes truly multi-dimensional art.
Each song feels like a thousand fragments of ideas each aligned into one place, the painstaking structure saying so much about the dynamics between each jagged edge.
Coming to the fore as part of Boston's closeknit DIY scene, she moved to Brooklyn, immersing herself in the borough's nexus of left of centre communities, before finally relocating to Los Angeles.
New album 'Crush Crusher' is out now on Hardly Art and it's an emphatically creative statement, a perplexing, confusing, fascinating, addictive, and moving record.
Here, Ian Sweet breaks down a few of her Influences - from childhood concerts with Peter Gabriel (and Kate Bush!) through to Animal Collective supplied revelations, these are some choice picks...
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Peter Gabriel - 'Solsbury Hill'
I grew up listening to Peter Gabriel. My dad was absolutely obsessed. My first concert was a Peter Gabriel concert when I was four and Kate Bush came on stage to sing with him. Both of them are two of my biggest influences. But growing up with it I never truly appreciated or understood the lasting affect their music would have on me.
I get choked up whenever I listen to Peter, I think because it reminds me of positive times with my dad which sometimes are hard for me to pick out, so when I listen I have flashing moments of overwhelming happiness.
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Bjork - 'It’s Not Up To You'
Bjork is such a driving force in the way I approach music. I was revisiting a lot of Bjork records while writing 'Crush Crusher' and was so inspired to be as honest as possible and not sugar coat the lyrics with too many metaphors. But rather write songs as if I was have a conversation with myself, an inner dialogue, or whatever would get the point across clearly so I could sit with it and feel confident in the expression.
This song in particular is a brutally honest moment of wanting to be stronger, wanting to take control of your life. I revisit this song often and am reminded to not never let anyone else make decisions for me or lead me in a direction I don’t want to be led in. I feel strong when I listen to Bjork.
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Crass - 'Poison In A Pretty Pill'
'Penis Envy' is definitely my favourite Crass record. Eve Libertine and Joy De Vivre are such strong forces on the record and I am absolutely enthralled by the both of them. This song feels like a shout to what it’s like to be a women always having to deal with hidden gestures constantly.
“Your facile beauty has an outrageous sound. Like a glamour billboard on a battlefield...” these lyrics represents the struggle women have to go through to feel any sense of confidence with all of the media and propaganda of what a “women” should look like/act like/be like. It is a constant battle with society but also with ourselves. I love how open Crass is with dissecting these issues and throwing them in your face.
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Animal Collective - 'Purple Bottle'
This song changed my life. I have never listened to a song on loop so many times in my life. There are so many nuances and hidden treasures in this song that I find through each listen. I remember being in high school blasting this in my room alone and dancing as hard as I possibly could, flailing every part of my body in a different direction.
The release this song brings me is something particular that I have never felt with another song. There is an energy that comes along with the listen, that I almost need to prepare myself for.
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The Microphones - 'I Want Wind To Blow'
The progression of this song has informed my songwriting so much. From beginning to end you are in the palm of his hand. Gripping every word and every chord and every new sound that appears suddenly. My favourite part of this song is the blown out ending. The sonics of it makes you feel completely surrounded but comfortable and calm, no need for escape but rather submission.
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'Crush Crusher' is out now on Hardly Art.
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