Melbourne-based electronic duo, American Doubles release their debut single The Swell, a luminous track steeped in blithe nostalgia. To accompany the track, the pair have released a spectacularly have-to-see-it-to-believe-it video, co-directed by Daniel and Jarred Daperis of LateNite Films (RÜFÜS) and filmed almost entirely underwater.
The Swell is recommended listening for a long, cool drive, perhaps one which involves a Miami Vice-esque nighttime cruise sequence; characterised by knowing nods to the 80s and to more recent electronic pioneers Metronomy, The Swell is a soaring yet subtle, unbelievably memorable smash. One half of the duo, Rob Smith, reflects on the conception of the song, “I used to walk to St Kilda Pier and along the beach, which brought back memories of when I was growing up and spending summer holidays at our family’s beach house in Cape Patterson. One of those memories is swimming out with a friend past the breakers, floating on our backs for a while and then diving down trying to touch the sea floor. I wanted to try and capture some of that sense of freedom that can come with being in the moment, letting go and having fun.”
The video for The Swell must be seen to be believed. The underwater set is a feast for the eyes; an intriguing story plays out as a woman dives nonchalantly into the watery depths and finds herself in an aquatic bar scene. Patrons dance and drink, bartenders wipe the benches and the woman catches the eye of a man at the bar – all relatively normal, if it weren’t for the fact that the entire scene is performed silently and deeply submerged in a pool of water.
The filming process was no mean feat, with everyone from marine biologists, architects, construction workers and freedivers getting in on the action – all of which is documented in an extensive behind the scenes video, filmed over the course of the recording. Proud of the ambitious, breath-taking clip, Smith discusses some of the issues that arose in the leadup, “We were contacting the various departments including underwater cameraman, lighting, set construction, scuba divers, and more, and the enormity of the project really started to dawn on us…for example, one of the issues with using regular actors for underwater work is that after a while, at the depths we were shooting, the veins in their head start to pop out! We wanted everyone to look relaxed and graceful moving around in the water so it was an obvious choice, in the end, to use freedivers.”
The Swell is a remarkable debut from American Doubles, one which refuses to leave the head after only a single listen. Grab The Swell here.