To find the best in you, sometimes you have to tear it all down just to build it back up again, which is essentially what Grant Swift did in crafting his new LP, Transformation.
You’ll get a sense of the direction he’s going in with the debut of his brand new single “Mewtwo,” a nice, stripped-down acoustic number with a touch of psychedelia. Set for release on April 28th, Transformation will be the singer-songwriter’s sophomore full-length, the follow-up to 2021’s well-received First Elephant.
Taking us through the process of how the song was written, and explaining the inspiration behind its name, Swift comments:
“‘Mewtwo’ was one of those songs that came together in about 20 minutes. I was watching the Taylor Swift Folklore documentary and strumming my guitar to the rhythm of one of her songs and kind of stumbled upon a melody I liked, so I paused the movie and wrote the whole song in about 20 minutes. The lyrics started as a kind of stream of consciousness exercise about my commute back home to where my band and I lived in Brooklyn when I graduated college, and the anxieties of having to practice old songs we were kind of tired of playing, while also having new songs you wanted to present but were feeling nervous or insecure about sharing with the rest of the band.
“One common ritual at the end of the night was to play the game Super Smash Bros. together and I felt like a lot of grievances and frustrations would get expressed through fighting one another in that game. Link is a playable character originally from the Zelda game series, and Mewtwo is a playable Pokemon character. Those characters represent some opposing ideas to me, and they were often featured in our nightly gameplay.”
When it comes time to write that sophomore album, most artists aren’t content with recreating what they already did. Swift was pleased with the album release but also wanted to elevate his songwriting. The strategy he took to do was to go back to basics. He decided to escape the hustle and bustle of his Brooklyn surroundings and traded it all to venture to Italy, where he did fieldwork in an olive farm and vineyard. This back-to-basics approach to life rubbed off onto his songwriting, with a lot of Transformation written while travelling abroad. A lot of it was recorded on his phone while out and about, getting song ideas, lyrics, and sounds down on a voice memo.
Transformation was ultimately an attempt to create limitations to let your creativity work within that space which creates a certain sense of originality and resourcefulness. It was a very personal experience as well, as Swift kept all of these songs to himself until they were just about done for fear that any feedback, whether positive or negative, could affect his overall process. This was more than just a record of songs for Swift; it was a spiritual metamorphosis, which in symbolized both within the lyrics and the record’s title itself.
Transformation Track Listing:
1. Story Tumbling
2. Be There
3. Note To Self
5. The Logic
6. God Of Mine
7. What Are You Saying
8. A Road Home