India Sweeney quietly upends expectations with ‘To the Ground’

Wollongong-based singer-songwriter, INDIA SWEENEY, has followed up her debut single, ‘Fly’, with ‘To the Ground’, showcasing a more delicate side to her music on her sophomore effort. ‘To the Ground’ finds Sweeney continuing to hone her idiosyncratic melding of pop and electronica that combines the beauty and sentimentality of traditional singer-songwriter pop with the moments of emotional catharsis found in dance music.

The track is an exercise in growth by way of quietly inverting categorical expectations. If you thought India Sweeney made lush electronica built around her sublime, ethereal voice, she opens ‘To the Ground’ with a stunning, cascading piano line and a vocal performance that teeters on spoken word. And then, from her staccato, syllabic pronunciation of “Up, down, all around / Up, down, down, to the ground” and through the soothing pre-chorus, her voice explodes into a blossoming, climactic chorus full of symphonic piano, satin guitar lines, skittering hi-hats, and a  beat that’s subtle enough for you to only stumble across it upon repeated listens.

If ‘To the Ground’ proves anything, it’s that Sweeney’s voice can do whatever, go wherever it likes – except, that is, wherever you expect it to go. It can sound fractured during the spoken-word verses alongside plucking guitars and shuffling percussion; it can lull and be a source of soft reassurance during the pre-chorus when her vocals drop into the lower register; and it can soar when the chorus rises, sweeping us along as she makes the impact of catharsis felt.

Piece by piece, track by track, India seems to be slowly revealing more corners of her artistry. On ‘To The Ground’, she shines a light on yet another corner. To pull it off with such quiet self-assuredness is impressive for an artist on only their second single, but it bodes well for her future.

‘To The Ground’ is out now via Stoney Roads Records.

WORDS BY KYLE FENSOM

IMAGE: Supplied

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