‘Lightning Strikes & Neon Nights’ is out now!
Off the high of his win at the 2023 Golden Guitar Awards for ‘Male Artist of the Year’, Andrew Swift has dropped his third studio album, Lightning Strikes and Neon Nights.
“I’m very excited about sharing this next chapter of my career with everyone. This record is, overall, more upbeat than my previous albums, spending more time on electric guitar than acoustic,” says Swift. “The title, Lightning Strikes & Neon Nights, is a great way to summarise this collection of songs. The ‘Lightning Strikes’ are the stories about finding moments of love and romance while the ‘Neon Nights’ are more influenced by a good night out.”
Collaborating with new and familiar faces such as Phil Barton, Travis Collins, Tenille Townes, Gretta Ziller, Taylor Moss, Alys Ffion and his girlfriend Simone Sordello, the album has a more overall contemporary feel to it than past Swift releases. It also features the hits Young Lovers, The Good Old Days and latest single, You and Me And a Bottle Of Whiskey.
We’re so delighted to bring you this exclusive track by track, as Andrew Swift talks us through each individual track: the creation, sentiment, and everything in between.
The original concept behind this song was that it was a sister song to Young Lovers. Where Young Lovers is a song about first love, Boombox Romance tells the story of a couple that have had their ups and downs over the years but still make each other feel like they’re lovers in a John Hughes movie. There’s an essence of nostalgia in the sound of this song which is what Matt Fell (producer) and I were trying to capture to compliment the concept.
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There seems to be a bit of a pattern as I look back on my previous releases to include a song that I didn’t write. All These Parts is that song on this album. Originally written by Amber Rae Slade and Matt Fell, Matt pitched this song to me. I’ve always been a big fan of Amber’s work and it was a pretty easy decision to make. All These Parts is about moving on from a relationship, about cutting ties and pushing forward.
A song about first love, young love, summer love. There’s something special about a summer romance, maybe it’s because I first had a girlfriend during some warmer months of my late teens. I was really trying to capture that feeling with this song. I had the main riff before any other part of this song, the first verse eventually came along, after which, I took them both to Phil Barton and we wrote the rest of the song reasonably quickly, we both knew exactly where we wanted it to go.
This was a fun one to write, Gretta Ziller and I have toured a whole lot together over the years but hadn’t written a song together since 2019. ‘Getting by on Cheap Liquor’ is a concept that you don’t need to have the best things in life in order to have fun and that’s exactly what this song is about. We wanted that swampier sounding country vibe to compliment the working-class narrative. I was definitely reflecting on my years of labouring experiences while we wrote this one.
This one is the result of another writing session with Phil Barton. I played him the opening riff and verse along with the line ‘C’mon baby take my hand’. From that line, we knew what the song was going to be about. The visual of taking someone’s hand and giving things a chance after they’ve come out of an unpleasant relationship, that even though they’ve got their walls up, love is like a wrecking ball and those walls don’t stand a chance.
Inspired by my younger sister getting engaged and the traditional approach my brother-in-law took by asking my Dad’s permission before proposing is what spawned the concept of this song. Right from the get-go, I had pictured it with a fatherly response later in the song and Kevin Bennett certainly delivered with his vocals.
Phil and I wrote multiple verses and tweaks of choruses trying out different ways to make it work as a duet, I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.
I love that this is a co-write with my girlfriend, Simone Sordello. The thing I love even more is seeing people sing along to this one, it makes me so happy for Sim. She wrote the bulk of this song, and we finished it off together, as a result, it’s the first song she’s written that has been recorded and released, so to see folks singing along just puts a massive smile on my face.
We had a lot of fun writing it and had the full intention of making it sound like a drunken sing along song, I asked a bunch of friends to send me audio of them singing along to it and we mixed it into the last chorus to really capture that vibe.
Tenille Townes and I had never met before this writing session, but 5 minutes into our Zoom meeting we had the concept for the song. Like many people, we both have annual trips away with our friends, we were reflecting on those trips and how one day we’re going to look back on those weekends and say, ‘those were the good old days’.
I’d been wanting to do a write with Travis Collins for some time and while I was stuck in lockdown, we managed to find some time via Zoom. Maybe it was a subconscious concept born from being housebound but Smoke ‘em If You Got ‘em is all about making the most of life. It’s a fun song that reminds us that we aren’t going to live forever and that we should enjoy ourselves while we can.
There’s only one song on this record that I wrote on my own from start to finish, I think it’s because this is the most personal song on the record to me. It’s a song about reflecting on my childhood growing up with my sister, about how I wasn’t always the best brother – we would fight, we’d laugh, it was a roller coaster as it is for most siblings – but at the end of the day, I hope that when she looks back on our younger years that she remembers them fondly too.
In saying that, I did hope to make her cry with this song, so maybe I’m still the same annoying brother I’ve always been.
Keep up to date with Andrew Swift on his Facebook page here.