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The Bend Magazine

A Universal Thought

02/06/2020 04:57PM ● By Kylie Cooper
By: Kylie Cooper  Photo by: Tera Elwell 

The idea of living a life with purpose is one not lost on many – a reflective and contemplative notion that takes us, as an individual, outside of ourselves and catapults us into the composition of the world at large. "What is my purpose?" "How can I leave behind some type of impact on the world when I have left it?" Undoubtedly an inner-monologue many of us have has with ourselves at some point in time. 

That very notion, of longing to be more than just an individual, but one with a meaningful purpose behind our words and actions and lives, is the DNA which holds together the song, “The Chill.” The first single off of Sword Collector’s self-titled EP, allows its listeners to ponder on that very thought. Even if for only two minutes and 35 seconds. I mean, if you’re going to think in a retrospective way – something that might feel daunting at first – two and a half minutes is a good place to start.

Sword Collector, formed of a South-Texas triad: Kyle McCoy (bass, vocals), Ryan Johnson (guitar), and Carlos Cooper (synth, drum machine), met growing up in Corpus Christi when each began frequenting the local hardcore punk scene in the mid 2000s. There, they formed a friendship and musical identity within the walls of the now-closed music venues around the Coastal Bend. Their musical paths would gravitate together again long after they'd spread across the state. 

In what began as a simple text exchange amongst the friends looking for a new creative outlet would later turn into a band forming and files being shared back and forth in order to create a sound so unique. In an effort to begin a new project on all fronts, the result lent itself to a sound unlike anything the three had ever played prior.

Album Art: Brian Morgante, Flesh & Bone Design

 Tinged with elements of new wave and more moody sounds, Sword Collector peppers in 808s, chord organs, and other unique instruments to craft genuinely charming musical moments. Recorded entirely by the band and mixed by Ryan Johnson, their upcoming self-titled EP maintains a distinct intimacy with the song writers. Mastered by John Allen Stephens at Third Coast Recording Co (The Suffers, Camera Cult), the final result is a sonic experience as lush as it is personal.

Employing the sometimes-dreamy-sometimes-eerie soundscapes, the lyrics themselves explore the very ideas of self-discovery and those daunting questions of “who am I?” and “what is my purpose?”

McCoy speaks to the intention behind the song and, indeed, before even hearing him talk about it in his own words, the concept has already resonated with me from my own listens. 

“‘The Chill’ is my expression of desire for greater purpose, for the ability to make a lasting impression,” McCoy says. “The song is also a bit of a rumination on morality and the quality of my own lasting impact beyond the ego. I like to think that it’s fairly universal to want to be remembered and remembered well.”

And he’s right. This idea of leaving our mark on the world in a positive way is a thought I feel most people might have now more than ever. How can we do our part in the short amount of time we have here on Earth and not waste any bit of it? You won’t find the answer to those kinds of questions here. But, that isn’t the point. I think the point is to get more people to adopt that way of thinking and, perhaps, the world would be a better place because of it.

You can listen to Sword Collector's first single, "The Chill" here now. Visit the bands social media pages (@swordcollectortx) to learn more about their self-titled EP coming early October via local record shop, Hybrid Records.