By Megan Routledge.
Kicking off 2024, Auckland singer-songwriter Will Swinton returns with an emotionally charged new single and music video titled “Harmless”.
The accompanying black-and-white self-directed visual threads together moments of chaos and tumult as Will Swinton experiences all of love’s ups and downs. Moving in a turbulent continuous take, he sings directly to the camera as the momentum culminates with acceptance. It serves as the perfect cinematic counterpoint to the song.
“Harmless” threads Swinton’s melodic vocals through a loose electric guitar lick and head-nodding beat. His words cut deep as he exhales, “If it was harmless, then ain’t it supposed to harm less? I didn’t mean to start shit cost me everything I had wish I was heartless.” Holding nothing back on the anthemic refrain, he pleads, “Tell me what to do.” The accompanying visual translates his vulnerability to the screen without filter. Ultimately, “Harmless” showcases his nuanced songcraft and dynamic voice front-and-center.
“Harmless” picks up the momentum from his most recent single “Daydream.” The latter has not only clocked over half-a-million total streams, but it has also earned acclaim reaching #5 on the Hot 20 New Zealand Singles Chart. Beyond a plug from Rolling Stone, Sweety High proclaimed “ He beautifully captures the angst of unrequited feelings.” While The Honey Pop stated, “We’re in love and completely obsessed with the Auckland singer-songwriter.”
Swinton released his debut EP Better Days in October 2023. The EP capped a flurry of momentum for the fresh face. In 2022, his independent single “All For You” cracked the Top 10 of the Hot 20 New Zealand Singles Chart, while “Better Days,” “Wasted You” and “Leave In The Morning” landed in the Top 15.
So far, he has tallied north of 100 million views on TikTok. Beyond collaborating with the likes of Claire Rosinkranz and finding a fan in MGK, Swinton has performed everywhere from SXSW in Austin, TX to The Great Escape in Brighton, UK, and Primavera in Barcelona, Spain. He recently supported Dermot Kennedy on the New Zealand leg of his tour and performed on mainstage at New Zealand’s largest festival, Rhythm & Vines. He now gears up for a home-town headline tour in New Zealand.
Singer-songwriter Will Swinton crafts relatable, soul-baring songs that other artists wish they’d written themselves — just ask Machine Gun Kelly, whom Swinton met by chance at an Idaho bar in July 2022. MGK was “intrigued” by the 22-year-old New Zealander — enough to invite Swinton to his Mainstream Sellout Tour show in Spokane, Washington. Independently Swinton achieved success with his July 2022 debut single, “All For You,” which hit No. 6 on the Hot 20 New Zealand Singles Chart, followed by the similarly refreshingly honest “Wasted You,” climbing to No. 15 on the same chart.
Altogether, he’s generated 100 million TikTok views and nearly 10 million global streams in the span of a year. Swinton’s emotionally tinged Better Days debut EP, further solidifies his unique sound and unquestioned potential for global resonance. Standout tracks like the title “Better Days” and the anecdotally vulnerable “Leave In The Morning,” produced alongside Rory Noble (Burna Boy, Ruel) illustrate Swinton’s refreshing musicality. Hailing from Auckland, New Zealand the former trampoline park employee took a leap of faith spending all his savings on a lifechanging flight to LA chasing his music dream. Fast forward, he’s now signed to 10K Projects and Capitol Records enhancing his artistry. He garners acclaim from Rolling Stone, writes with the likes of Claire Rosinkranz, sells out headline shows in addition to playing a slew of global festivals and recently opened for Dermot Kennedy.
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