Morgan Swihart yearns for simpler histories and happier memories on “I Just Wanna Go” [BPM Premiere]

Music can speak to the history of a place, to its detailed geography and cultural nuances in ways that seem drawn from half-forgotten memories and dusty high school textbooks and primal instincts passed down through generations – and whatever else might be tied up in our DNA that facilitates our associations between sound and our environment on such a fundamental level. For Brooklyn musician Morgan Swihart, her life in New York City, with all its tremendous and anxious and dull moments, serves as a muse for her expression of self, a referential framework on which she hangs the threads of her various sonic interpretations.

From Mercury Lounge to any number of DIY venues scattered across NYC, she absorbs inspiration and history directly from her surroundings – from concrete, graffiti, and outdated metalworks that act as urban touchstones of decades gone by. She spent years reveling in the echoes of the Riot Grrrl movement as well as the determined reflections of more mainstream pop balladeers, eventually studying at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music. Her evolution as a musician and a songwriter was guided by a desire to contort the definitions and traditions of countless genres, weaving together folk, ambient, alt-rock, electronic music, and other bits of elusive musical ephemera into a coherent thesis on growing up in a post-pandemic world.

Swihart released her debut album, The Grave, in May of last year, which was followed by a 6-song EP, Haunt Me, in November. Now she is gearing up for her sophomore LP entitled Broken Ceilings, which is being self-released on June 7. For our latest glimpse into that upcoming album, she has given us “I Just Wanna Go”, a propulsive rocker that finds her yearning for happier times and a release from the confines of a world gone mad. Finding a happy medium between the cutting emotional rictus of PJ Harvey and the more introspective exhalations of Hope Sandoval, she breathes hope into dim landscapes, bringing a gauzy illumination to the craggy contours of our communal anxieties.

‘I Just Wanna Go’ calls back to my sophomore year in high school feeling trapped and alone in an unhealthy living environment,” explains Swihart. “Isolation was a universal experience during the pandemic, but still couldn’t feel more lonely and suffocating. One of my first summers that offered happy memories was in 2018 preceding the pandemic. The lyrics express my yearning to go back.

Listen to “I Just Wanna Go” below.

Morgan Swihart’s new album, Broken Ceilings, is due out tomorrow. Catch up with her on Instagram.