It’s was one of the quickest writes, says swim good now (a.k.a. Jonathan Lawless), but once all of its pieces were put together, “Daylight”—the weighty, twinkling single off of his forthcoming album of the same name—took about two-and-a-half years to make. For all intents and purposes, the song is really more of a project than a straight-cut single—featuring the collaborative talents of Daniela Andrade, Ryan Hemsworth, Lontalius and olli—with unofficial credits given to Lawless’ brother-in-law, Lyle Jasper, as well as his friend, Aaron Mohr. "This is actually an outlier among my songs,” says Lawless, noting that it took several forms before he was happy with it. “It started out much more electronic, much more R&B, but slowly morphed into something way more tragic, but hopefully still encouraging.”
Lawless has been performing as swim good now (formerly swim good) since 2013. Based out of Owen Sound, Ontario, the 30-year-old producer has worked with Andrade a few times in the past and decided to partner with her again for “Daylight”. “Fun fact that I feel a lot of people don't know is that she used to sing in a gospel choir," says Lawless. The video features low-fi home-movie cuts comparable to Ricky’s voyeur footage of Jane in American Beauty, with delicate, fragmented visuals blanketed on top. It reels the viewer inside a simple songwriting session to the tune of pleasant, plucked melancholy melodies (reminiscent of a grown-up, electronic “Boats and Birds” by Gregory and the Hawk).
Hemsworth plays drums on the track and also edited the video, which is his directorial debut, so to speak. “Swim good now, kind of just opens his doors to collaborators and listeners,” says Hemsworth. “Everyone’s allowed in.” The album, Daylight, will also be released under Hemsworth’s Secret Songs label.
Hillary Windsor is a writer living in Halifax. She’s on Twitter