Premiere: DC Duo The Sweater Set Weave Sweet Folk & Romance into “Hostage”

The Sweater Set © Plume Photography (Amanda Reynolds)
Washington, DC folk duo The Sweater Set capture the sweet intensity of romance on their new song “Hostage,” a blissful acoustic rendering of heartfelt emotion.
Stream: “Hostage” – The Sweater Set




I hope we inspire other moms to release their music. I hope that people feel we’re next to them on their journeys of self discovery and expression.

Love is intoxicating; no matter where we are in life, we can still feel the physical and emotional ecstasy of intimate connection. Washington, DC folk duo The Sweater Set capture the sweet intensity of romance on their new song “Hostage,” a blissful acoustic rendering of heartfelt emotion.

Fly on the Wall - The Sweater Set

Fly on the Wall – The Sweater Set

You grab my hand
And pull me close
Your arms like a cage
You won’t let go
I am your hostage
Your little bird
You are the oyster
I am the pearl
It’s easy letting you steal all my time
Take my wrist
Handcuff yours to mine
It’s easy letting you steal all my time
Take my wrist
Handcuff yours to mine

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Hostage,” the latest song off The Sweater Set’s upcoming album Fly on the Wall (out May 8, 2020 via Local Woman Records). Debuting over a decade ago down in our nation’s capital, the pairing of Sara Curtin and Maureen Andary are your quintessential folk duo: Acoustic guitars, engaging melodies, and vocal harmonies swim together in an affecting basin of sound as they take listeners on adventures of the heart and mind.

And we will drive
In our getaway car
Right off a cliff
And into the sun
No obligations, we’ll slip away
Obsession is easy
It’s a warm place to stay
It’s easy letting you steal all my time
Take my wrist
Handcuff yours to mine
It’s easy letting you steal all my time
Take my wrist
Handcuff yours to mine
The Sweater Set © Plume Photography (Amanda Reynolds)

The Sweater Set © Plume Photography (Amanda Reynolds)



Whereas Fly on the Wall touches on everything from the band’s own friendship, to global warming, addiction, depression, and more, “Hostage” offers a reprieve into which we as listeners (and they as artists) can connect with something a little more natural, and a little easier to bear.

“I had some romances that were Bonnie and Clyde, Thelma and Louise, me against the world, type things,” The Sweater Set’s Maureen Andary tells Atwood Magazine. “People I couldn’t get enough of, that I huffed like aerosol.  I kept coming back to them. I felt like a hostage, and I loved it.”

Sonically, “Hostage” showcases who The Sweater Set are and sets the tone for what listeners can expect moving forward. Dive deeper into the song with Atwood Magazine‘s chat with Sara Curtin and Maureen Andary below, and stream the new single exclusively now!

Stream: “Hostage” – The Sweater Set

 

MEET THE SWEATER SET

Atwood Magazine: What prompted you to write this song?

Maureen Andary: I had some romances that were Bonnie and Clyde, Thelma and Louise, me against the world, type things. People I couldn’t get enough of, that I huffed like aerosol.  I kept coming back to them. I felt like a hostage, and I loved it.

Was it something specific that inspired it?

Andary: By the time I wrote this song, I was several years out of the last unhealthy relationship, and, after years of therapy, I had a lot of really good perspective.  I could tell that I had given up my power willingly, maybe even gladly. It’s odd loving someone or something that is taking over all of your energy. It’s truly the paradox of the addict.  Which, brings me to the realization that the song could very well have been written to alcohol or drugs. We’re hostage to those sometimes, too, and it’s so awful but it feels so, so, so good, and it feels like you don’t have a choice.

When you write songs, do you tend to work separately and bring finished songs to the other person, or do you work together on them -- what is your process?

Sara Curtin: We write our songs completely separately.  We generally come to one another with the lyrics, melody, and structure already in place.  Where we collaborate is in the arrangements! We begin rehearsing the basic structure and experiment as we go along until the song feels complete.  Final decisions usually rest with the songwriter, but there have been times when we encourage each other to include parts, lyrics, or even whole songs that the original songwriter was unsure of!

Andary: We’re both passionate, committed songwriters, and, while we’re a duo performing as The Sweater Set, we are fierce individuals with different styles and artistic preoccupations.  Additionally, we are confessional songwriters, so it’s deeply personal. They’re the type of songs you write alone in the dark at 1 a.m. with pimple cream on your face, on your voice memo recorder.

If you had to describe your music using only five adjectives or a phrase, what would you say about it?

Andary:  Playful, vivid, colorful, honest, simple.

The Sweater Set © Plume Photography (Amanda Reynolds)

The Sweater Set © Plume Photography (Amanda Reynolds)



How do you think living in the DC area impacts the music you make?

Andary: The communities here are pretty well keyed into mental and physical health, and that has really informed my art.  I’m grateful to receive excellent mental healthcare and a ton of support as a sober person. The culture around this town is very open and often intimate.  Despite what you see on TV, people in DC really do care and want to come together to find solutions. There are a lot of very real, frank discussions about the state of things – the state of our country, the state of our schools, our healthcare system, our neighborhoods, and that also branches naturally into the state of our own mental health and well-being issues.  If I go to a party or a play or a show tomorrow, I will end up talking with social workers, policy nerds, activists, public school teachers, single moms and dads, small business owners, non-profit staff. If you can get past the shock of the gentrification we’re experiencing in the city and invite a deeper conversation (beyond the avocado toast), most people here are trying to make life better for their community and themselves.  Lately, I’m telling people how great and affordable online therapy is. People are really excited to hear about it! They either want to try it for themselves or have a buddy or family member who they are going to recommend it to. My songs aren’t usually political, but I love to write about my addictions to alcohol, how therapy has empowered my relationships, and about my grieving process. I love living in a culture that supports this type of confessional art.

Curtin: We both grew up in DC and met when we were children singing in a church choir (directed by my mom!), so just the coincidence of us both being from here allowed us to find each other at a really early age. Those shared experiences definitely make it into the music we make together now, and especially our interaction in our live shows. Audiences have often asked if we’re related.

What do you hope listeners take away from hearing this song?

Andary: I hope people listen and think of ways that they let themselves be “hostages” or ways that they may even enjoy being held “hostage,” by people, organizations, or things in their lives. I put quotes around it because true hostages aren’t complicit. And that’s the irony of the song, the person is not really a hostage. The line, “It’s easy letting you steal all my time,” really resonates with me. The singer has a lot of privilege and is making choices. They just have completely lost all boundaries.

And what do you hope listeners take away from hearing the whole album?

Andary: I hope we inspire other moms to release their music. I hope that people feel we’re next to them on their journeys of self discovery and expression.

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:: stream/purchase Fly on the Wall here ::
Stream: “Hostage” – The Sweater Set

 



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The Sweater Set © Plume Photography (Amanda Reynolds)

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📸 © Plume Photography (Amanda Reynolds)

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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