New Video: JOVM Mainstays No Swoon Share a Dream-like Visual for Uptempo “Besides”

Formed back in 2016, JOVM mainstays No Swoon — Tasha Abbott (vocals, guitar) and Zack Nestel-Patt (synths, baas) — have quickly established a blogosphere winning attention sound that meshes elements of dream pop, shoegaze, post-punk and ethereal wave with the release of 2018’s EP 1 and 2019’s ’s Jorge Elbrecht-produced, self-titled full-length debut.

Much like countless others across the world, the COVID-19 pandemic, the members of the JOVM mainstay act found their lives and plans thrown into disarray: their planned tour to support their full-length debut had to be scrapped. And after spending the past five years in Brooklyn, the duo relocated to Los Angeles. Understandably, spending over a year in quarantine-imposed isolation forced the pair to take a step back and think about their lives in new ways — and to examine the intricacies of going through life as we know it.

The band managed to release a couple of singles throughout the bulk of the pandemic, including “Again,” a single that marked massive, life-altering transitions for the duo: their aforementioned return back West. And along with their relocation, the band reworked their sound and approach. The Siamese Dream era Smashing Pumpkins meets Slowdive like “Again” was deeply inspired by life during the pandemic. As the JOVM mainstays explained in press notes, “This song is about when days begin and end with no real definition. About being stuck in the loop of our life and we can’t get out. It may come to no surprise that this song was written early on in the Pandemic. Before everything shut down, I (Tasha) was constantly moving: work, music, sleep, etc., and being at stand-still all of a sudden was definitely strange (on top of the already terror and stress of the pandemic).”

Interestingly, “Again” will appear on the band’s highly-anticipated sophomore album Take Your Time. Slated for an April 8, 2022 release, the lion share of Take Your Time was recorded by the band in Western Massachusetts, amidst the isolation of pandemic related quarantine — with the band’s Nestel-Patt taking up engineering duties during the initial recording sessions. The album features guest spots from longtime collaborator Jon Smith (drums), along with Furrows‘ and Olden Yolk’s Peter Wagner (guitar). Jake Aaron contributed some additional production and Chris Coady mixed the album, pushing the material into something otherworldly.

Take Your Time‘s material was conceived and written during both personal and global transitions and turmoil — but while celebrating a joyful acceptance of the paths that have lead each of us to where we are right now. About the album’s themes, No Swoon’s Abbott contends, “We are so hard on ourselves for decisions we made years ago. I have plenty of regrets, but I also see it as a process, and it’s ok that I didn’t realize the hopes and dreams of 20-year old me. What did she know anyways?” 

The album’s first official single, the uptempo “Besides” is centered around Abbott’s plaintive and breathy falsetto, a propulsive rhythm section and intertwined buzzing power chords and twinkling, reverb-drenched synths. While sonically nodding at fellow JOVM mainstays Beach House, “Besides” as the band’s Abbott explains was inspired by a wild, enigmatic dream she once had in which, while exploring a mysterious cavern, she stumbled upon a secret, apparently blissful cult with ambiguous intentions.

“I have some really weird dreams,” Abbott says in press notes. “They are often these wide-ranging sci-fi stories. This song is part 2 of the same dream that inspired a song on our first record ‘Don’t wake up, wake up‘. That dream had ended with meandering into a cave that turned out to be the home to a cult where everyone looked the same and seemed very ‘happy.’ Though, obviously they were not very happy because it was a cult. I eventually got out.”

Shot and edited by the duo, the accompanying visual for “Beside” emphasizes the song’s dream-like air: The viewer is placed in a forest, where we see the duo walking towards us in a seemingly infinite loop.