Premiere: Annie DiRusso Languishes in Teenage Suburbia on “Don’t Swerve”

Annie DiRusso © Jacqueline Justice
The mind wanders in teenage suburbia, dwelling in strange places and parts unknown, and Annie DiRusso’s feverish “Don’t Swerve” is a passionate soundtrack to that coming-of-age experience.
Stream: “Don’t Swerve” – Annie DiRusso



Where was Annie DiRusso when I was seventeen years old and struggling to make sense of things? The long nights spent on Westchester County’s empty open roads, going ever-so-slightly over the highway speed limit to (unconsciously) take back a sliver of control; the days spent overanalyzing every relationship, every encounter – wondering where I was going, what I was headed towards, and what it was all for… The mind wanders in teenage suburbia, dwelling in strange places and parts unknown, and DiRusso’s feverish “Don’t Swerve” is a passionate soundtrack to that coming-of-age experience.

Don't Swerve - Annie DiRusso

Don’t Swerve – Annie DiRusso

You drive me home
You don’t swerve
But you’re stoned
I sit there quiet
Wondering why my love
for you’s unrequited
I’m lost ‘cause I’ve found
The very thought of you
it follows me around

Don’t Speak, not a sound
If I stay in the dark
the light can’t bring me down

Ah ooo oooo ooo oooooo
Ah oooo oooo ooo ooooooo

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering the music video for Annie DiRusso’s 2018 single “Don’t Swerve.” An indie rock/pop artist based in Nashville and New York, Annie DiRusso has been actively serving up an array of catchy, dynamic music since 2017. Some of her singles are acoustic, and others are entirely beat-based – but one thing they all share in common is DiRusso’s unleashed emotions and unrelenting character.



Released 1.5 years ago (her latest single is last November’s fiery “Dead Dogs), “Don’t Swerve” arrived in ’18 as DiRusso’s fourth overall song release. Since then it’s become a runaway favorite, amassing over 400,000 global streams.

Aside from being DiRusso’s breakout hit, “Don’t Swerve” is a truly fresh slice of life.

Speaking directly to those coming-of-age struggles we all deal with in some form or fashion, DiRusso sets up her scene in the suburbs, in a car driving down the road, in the midst of a frustrating romantic entanglement. We don’t need to know the details; as long as we know she’s “Wondering why my love for you’s unrequited,” the story paints itself.

You drive me home,
We pretend we don’t know
I sit there smiling
‘Cause I know you
Know exactly what I’m hiding
I’m lost ‘cause I’ve found
The very thought of you it follows me around
Don’t Speak, not a sound
If I stay in the dark the light can’t bring me down
Ah ooo oooo ooo oooooo
Ah oooo oooo ooo ooooooo



Annie DiRusso © Jacqueline Justice

Annie DiRusso © Jacqueline Justice



“This song is about having a heartbreaking crush in teenage suburbia and that feeling of driving around when you’re coming of age,” DiRusso tells Atwood Magazine. “It’s the nervous excitement of being in the passenger seat as that person drives you home at the end of night. I wrote the song two years ago and as I listen to it now, it paints a picture of my teenage experience growing up in the suburbs of New York City. The video was filmed, directed, and edited by Josh Kranich. We shot it in Nashville in April 2019 and had a bunch of friends come out and drive around with us all day. It ended up being a really nice time. It was so special to see this song come to life in a way that fit the feeling I had when I wrote it.”

Josh Kranich illustrates DiRusso’s song perfectly, capturing all the wandering and wondering we do during those formative years – from driving around town, to laying together with our friends in the grass, and even decorating shrines to actor Timothée Chalamet.

“For “Don’t Swerve”, we knew that we wanted to create something that felt current, but we weren’t afraid of being a time capsule,” Kranich explains. “Conceptually, I wanted to capture the coming-of-age period when you have the freedom of being an adult without the responsibilities.”

Annie DiRusso © Jacqueline Justice

Annie DiRusso © Jacqueline Justice



Ultimately, “Don’t Swerve” stands as a simple, yet timeless depiction of “teenage suburbia” – a term we’ve thrown around once or twice before, yet one that has never felt so appropriate.

It just so happens that, with everyone relegated to their homes during COVID-19 quarantine, we all find ourselves back in this state of deep introspection and uncertainty. With these and more on the mind, “Don’t Swerve” arrives as a vessel for reflection and release – a raw, untethered and unbound outpouring of vulnerable truth and all our inner worries and doubt. Nothing is as it once was – and the truth is, nothing will ever be the same again. Take a couple minutes for yourself and indulge in the emotional relief that is Annie DiRusso’s “Don’t Swerve.”

And on a personal note: At seventeen, I was driving around aimlessly, searching for purpose and an identity. Ten years later, I’m pacing back and forth in my apartment, staring down the barrel at many more weeks’ worth of quarantine. Thank god for music like this – a deserving breakout, Annie DiRusso’s “Don’t Swerve” takes melancholy and malaise, and twists them into a burning, cathartic fire of sonic emotion. She has without a doubt earned a top spot on my Songs to Get Through the Apocalypse playlist.

Watch the new music video exclusively on Atwood Magazine!

I know that I’m cool on my own
But I still hope
That you’ll see that
I am fun and free and everything you need
When you drive me home
I’m always last and we’re always alone
I’ll sit there tired
Wondering when the fuck this game will expire

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:: stream/purchase “Don’t Swerve” here ::
Stream: “Don’t Swerve” – Annie DiRusso



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Don't Swerve - Annie DiRusso

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📸 © Jacqueline Justice
art © Loretta Violante

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Mitch Mosk

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com