Philadelphia-based producer, composer, and multi-instrumentalist Max Swan has returned with “Legend,” the lead single from his forthcoming album, Slow Jail.
Online PR News – 28-May-2021 – Philadelphia, PA – Emerging from a tumultuous period marked by unexpected loss and newfound strength, Philadelphia-based producer, composer, and multi-instrumentalist Max Swan has returned with “Legend,” the lead single from his forthcoming album, Slow Jail.
Set for release on Friday, June 25, “Legend” is a gritty, modern take on an enchanting love story; one which uses neon-glowing synths, dynamic choruses, and vivid imagery to illustrate the journey of a 21st Century hero on his way to rescue his true love.
“Lyrically, this song is like a modern fairytale, subbing out the Victorian garb for Japanese streetwear, and a horse-drawn carriage for a naturally-aspirated VTEC,” Swan said. “The main character is ‘riding through her city’ on his way to her, saving her from the dystopian lifestyle we've all been living in. It’s like a Disney love story.”
The creative process behind “Legend” began nearly a decade ago, when Swan developed an interpretation of the John Mayer song, “Assassin.” From there, Swan found himself periodically returning to the project’s source file, determined to expand upon his vision.
“As a creator, some things come out right away. Some things take a few weeks, a few months, or even years. Sometimes, you're just so close to the fire, that you can't have the detachment necessary to see things in a different way than they are right in front of you, because you're just too deep, too committed,” Swan said. “How could I make something out of this, that was strong enough to see the light of day? I went at it like a wimp, and would chisel little pieces out of it, not actually getting anywhere, and shutting the computer after hours of working on what turned out to be nothing.”
After several attempts – and, despite multiple stops and starts – this “Legend” was born. Some elements remain from the song’s original incarnation – for example, its opening kalimba sample is borrowed from the cover project, while “Assassin”-inspired backing vocals are embedded within the track’s vast, triumphant soundscape.
The secret weapon, however, is the Omnisphere. Brought into the mix on “Legend,” this important hybrid synth makes its presence felt throughout Slow Jail, adding dynamic textures designed to “blow everything out into the stratosphere and suck the listener into a new space, like a black hole.”
Texturally, ‘Legend’ is a departure – or rather, an end-point; a process that has been years in the making. It's a fresh start to the listener, but an arrival for me, in the sense that everything has been leading to what this album is.
It’s fitting, then, that “Legend” is the opening statement, deliberately chosen to lead us toward the full Slow Jail experience.
“It's a hard reset in a huge pill,” Swan said. “It's got a little bit of everything I'm bringing on the album, and makes a strong statement from the get-go that will put the ball in my hands for what comes afterwards.”
About Max Swan
A native of the Philadelphia area, Max Swan’s earliest forays into music revolved around jazz. Max is a classically-trained saxophonist who has studied under Saturday Night Live band leader Lenny Pickett, and has emerged as an accomplished vocalist and hip hop producer. Max’s unique skillset – coupled with his innate ability to break genre boundaries – has resulted in a distinctive “electrosoul” sound that blends the musicality and improvisational spirit of jazz with elements of 21st Century soul, harmony-rich R&B, and contemporary hip hop.
Max’s new album, Slow Jail, is set for release on Friday, September 24 and signals an ambitious leap forward. Born out of a tumultuous period marked by unexpected loss and newfound strength, Slow Jail addresses themes of escapism, grief, self-discovery, and the consequences of the decisions we make.
“The time had come for me to deliver something that was the truest representation of what I’m capable of doing, and for me to realize the version of myself that I was always meant to be,” Max said.
Max’s 2018 album, The Fisherman, was made possible with a grant from The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts (Philadelphia, PA). Throughout his career, Max has opened for renowned touring acts, including Phillip Phillips, Louis Cole, and Bilal; and has been a featured performer at notable events throughout the Philadelphia region. These include SXSW Amplify Philly, Councilman David Oh's PHLive Center Stage Music Conference, Ernest Stuart's Center City Jazz Festival, and Musikfest.
As an artist and producer, Max has collaborated across genres with a growing number of versatile recording artists, including Aime, Jacqueline Constance, The Bul Bey, Mic Stewart, and Alita Moses.