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If you’re going to write a song that references a day at the carnival, you had better pack it with either some folksy melodies or eerie, Something-Wicked-This-Way-Comes-inspired organ tones. Luckily for Divine Sweater, their new song “Looking for You (Everywhere)” smartly capitalizes on the former.
Using their new single as an excuse to expand their instrumentation repertoire, the Boston group turned a true childhood tale into an exercise in fitting clarinet, cello, and French horns into the confines of an indie rock tune. The result is a track that feels like tossing a window open on the first day of spring, and feeling a gush on fresh air flow indoors.
“Our singer Meghan Kelleher began it as a story about losing her parents at a carnival as a small child before we realized it doubled as a metaphor for being unable to find the people and things we love most for the indefinite future,” guitarist Sean Seaver explains. “Listening to it now, it feels like a somewhat universal and timely sentiment, and we’re pleased it was birthed from a childhood anecdote.”
After adding a trumpet hook to “2×2,” a track from their 2019 record Human Love, the band confidently pursued more intricate and adventurous instrumentation in their forthcoming sophomore album. For “Looking for You (Everywhere)” specifically, Divine Sweater enlisted Chris Chapin from the Boston Conservatory to assist in writing the song’s cello hook and performing the French horn and clarinet lines.
“I’ve wanted to incorporate eclectic instrumentation into an indie rock sonic palette for a while,” Seaver tells Vanyaland. “I took music theory courses in college but was intimidated by the challenge of writing and recording classical-style arrangements. The arrangement on ‘Looking for You (Everywhere),’ was intended to mirror the carnival atmosphere of the lyrics. The cello melody attempts to replicate the circular motion of the Ferris wheel that the narrator (baby Meghan) is searching for her family on. The French horn and clarinet lines at the beginning of the verses combine with the swirling synthesizers to enhance the feeling of spinning.”
Twisting alongside a rush of crisp melodies, but not at all dizzying, “Looking for You (Everywhere)” simply gives Boston the better weather the city deserves.