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Gig Pick: New Swears at Babylon—11.22.19

By Stephane Dubord on November 19, 2019

This coming weekend promises to be a dream one for live music lovers in town. As always, Apartment613 has all the info you need to make informed decisions on what shows to catch to make the most of your weekend.

Kicking things off on Friday night, hometown band New Swears will be making their triumphant return to the Babylon Nightclub. Their last appearance at the venue was their album launch party on June 15, 2019, when they first introduced us to the fantastic material on Night Mirror. We had a chance to chat with Sammy and Ben before that show (interview here) and discussed the new sound they adopted for this album. Since then, the album has been winning fans over with its incredibly catchy hooks and super-slick production. But, deep down, what generates repeated listens are the relatable lyrics. The heavy dose of local references in “Bells Corners” and “Gladstone” make obvious links for Ottawa fans, but beyond those references, anyone who has lived through a road trip can relate to the vagabond stories of life on the road in “Wheels” or “Concrete Cowboy.”

Lead track “Bon Voyage” embodies the punk attitude in its lyrics—but lays them out on a smooth Allman Brothers sound. The result is a less aggressive, in-your-face type of punk, but rather a somewhat more passive, chill view, essentially uncompromising on who they are, no matter what others may think. It’s a microcosm of the album’s different style, and the band itself.

Their previous release, the double-single Illuminati Knights / Happy Birthday, was #5 on our Top Local Releases of 2018. Keep an eye on the site next month to see if Night Mirror can end up even higher on the 2019 list.


New Swears will be gracing the Babylon Nightclub stage on Friday November 22, 2019, with friends Wine Lips, Remi Royale, and MC Buddy Smiles. Tickets ($16.50 in advance, $20 at the door) available here.