We’ve been listening to Texas-based band, Swiss Banks’, latest single, Animals, here at the Send Me Your Ears studio today, released on November 11, 2022.

Animals is an emotionally honest message that explores the tension of “giving your best”. It’s about finding that no matter how hard one tries, coming up short fitting in and failing to succeed in a society that is difficult to figure out how to happily coexist within.

Starting with some very dark feeling picked bass, the song sets a slightly ominous feel. When the drums come in, they didn’t do quite what we expected, and we liked that. It’s always good to keep a listener on their toes – especially early on in a song. Once we settled into the rhythm, we all found ourselves nodding along to the groove of this Smiths/Cure/ Joy Division-tinged song.

The vocals make great use of reverbs. They feel dark and foreboding. The voice stays low and baritone throughout. It draws you in and you can feel it taking control of your emotions. There’s a Bowie-like character and creativity to this song and it feels just a touch nostalgic and art-rock in style.

We love the layered vocal harmonies that join the mix for the choruses. They sit perfectly in the mix behind the lead vocal and are barely noticeable, except to fill out the sound and make the lead vocal even more exciting to listen to.

The instrumental sections between vocal passages are a nice touch and separate the song out well. They follow simple melodies and we liked the instrumental section where the band somehow managed to achieve an exhilarating rise whilst the guitar felt as though it sat on just the one note for the most part. This was a really clever use of all the instruments collaborating as a whole to excite and delight the listener, creating a wonderfully dynamic soundscape.

We must give mention to the accompanying video for this track: a series of scenes with people in animal masks going about their business. It was both fun and disturbing to watch at the same time – another comparison to the creative genius of David Bowie.

Ideas from our ears

A hi-pass filter at 35Hz would remove some unnecessary low-end rumble. To our ears, the hi-hat occasionally has a little too much character around 5.5kHz so a cut in this area might make it sound a little less harsh in places. As always, these are just some ideas from our ears.

Final thoughts

Fans of Joy Division, Bowie, The Cure and similar art rock/ post-punk artists will love the sound of Swiss Banks’ new single, Animals. This is a creative song with a deep and honest message.