Single Review: Swan Levitt - 'Alive'

Isle of Wight singer-songwriter Swan Levitt releases poignant track ‘Alive’ from his highly anticipated debut EP.

Get your tissues ready for the latest release from Swan Levitt, a heartfelt offering from the fast rising singer-songwriter. Focusing on the theme of loss, it is a song that will resonate deeply with listeners as Levitt pours his soul into the track. Levitt explains that ‘Alive’ is “primarily about a close friend who battled with cystic fibrosis. However, it has wider meaning. Family, friends, memories (good and bad). I think most people can relate to some kind of trauma, so ‘Alive’ should resonate with them.”

Synth and gentle strumming gently coaxes the listener into the track, before Levitt’s raw vocals joins the texture. The guitar line is delicately crafted, and the simplicity of it brings a profoundly sad quality to the track, which will make you want to weep. The texture is gradually built up as light electronics and a drum kit join from the second verse, growing and swelling to create a full, warm sound. A beautifully pieced chorus features some of the most poignant lyrics on the track, such as ‘maybe I’ll die before all of my friends’ and Levitt’s tender voice gives the listener a glimpse into his despair. The choral backing and vocal harmonies helps create an evocative atmosphere, brimming with anguish and melancholy. Electronics, guitar and drums are sensitively interwoven together as the sound washes past the listener, bringing the track to a close.

The single marks another step forward to mark 2018 as Levitt’s year, as he prepares to release his anticipated debut EP. Over the past year, Levitt has been enchanting audiences with his thoughtfully captivating lyricism and intimate melodies, playing the likes of Bestival and Sofar Sounds. ‘Alive’ is yet another example of why you should keep an eye on this rising singer-songwriter – with a canny ability to craft exceptional sounds, this moving track is sure to touch with the heartstrings of many.

Words by Athena Kam