On the surface, LA pop/rock trio SadGirl‘s 2019 album Water harkened back to the feel-good music of the ’50s and ’60s, but like so many of the greats from the Sun, Motown, and Stax catalogs, the sunny melodies often hid turbulent underlying themes. The use of water as a metaphor continued within the SadGirl camp as mastermind Misha Lindes composed their new single “Learn to Swim.”
Originally conceived as the beginning of a follow-up album, the song’s themes of fluidity and transformation – learning to swim rather than treading water – took on a new scope in the wake of the pandemic. “With all of the shake-ups and cancellations, I felt like the song needed to get out there,” says Lindes. “It seemed too relevant to everything that was going on. I want people to know we’re still here and we’re gonna be here after this has all settled down. Adapt and thrive.”
Listen/watch the video for “Learn To Swim” below:
The sentimental acoustic guitar chords, woozy melodies on keyboards and electric guitar, and lullaby vocals were recorded to 8-track tape in Lindes’ living room, giving the dreamy pop song an added patina, a reminder of the distance of time and our constant journey forward.
“Learn to Swim” video director Owen Summers says, “I wanted to illustrate my interpretation of the song, using color and texture. Looking to emphasize the charm of the hazy melody, I used the character and his strange journey to embody what the song meant to me.”
To celebrate the release of their new video/single, SadGirl will be screening “Learn to Swim” live on their Instagram page at 3 PM PST to interact with fans directly. They will also be heading on tour with WAVVES this fall.