• Thea Martin

A First Look at OK Hotel's Debut Single 'Swim'

Words by Zoe Sounness

Images by Jye Talbot

Over the month of February, Wollongong band OK Hotel have been sharing their music on tour by supporting Unwritten Law. In their time as a band, they’ve been working incredibly hard to create songs that have a strong message, but at the same time can easily get stuck in your head with their super captivating and unforgettable melodies. Vocalists Josh and Andre have created a signature sound that’s so instantly appealing, landing the band incredible opportunities to support amazing artists like Ruby Fields on her most recent tour. Premiered last night on Triple J Unearthed, the long wait is over, and fans both new and old of OK Hotel can finally wrap their ears around their newest single, Swim from their upcoming debut EP.

Swim seems to embody the perfect amount of lightheartedness, whilst still maintaining the message of the song, through the playfulness of the music video and it’s super catchy hook. The great mix of Josh and Andre’s vocals work together ideally without it sounding too contrasted, making the song flow super smoothly from start to finish. It brings on feelings of letting go of what doesn’t make you happy, so that you’re able to move on to bigger and better things. Overall, Swim definitely shows signs of being one of those songs you’ll hear when you’re forty-something and have it immediately take you back to the time in which you first heard it, creating a super nostalgic vibe without sounding like it’s been done before. I briefly spoke to Josh Fogarty (Guitar/Vocals) and Liam Jordan (Bass) and they both agree that this song has been a long time coming.

[Liam] “We originally filmed the video early January but I first heard the song last September before I was even playing bass in the band…”

[Josh] “I remember figuring out the chorus/verse idea out in the shower and making a voice memo. Ten months went by and I’d completely forgotten about it… It wasn’t until we were working with our producer (Fletcher Matthews) when Swim finally happened, he asked if we had any ideas and it popped into my brain again.”

I asked Josh what the song meant to him personally as a songwriter;

[Josh] “For me, it’s like sending a risky text and then throwing your phone out of the car window. Not that you don’t want to hear the other side of an argument, but more so knowing that you’ve stuck to your morals and stood for what was right by you.”

Josh then explained how this song had stemmed from some conflict he was dealing with at the time and how writing Swim helped him get through it;

[Josh] “Things have been getting better since I got that out. It’s a healing part of songwriting that I really respect. For me, sticking to your morals is a huge part of this song; not letting things that you’re uncomfortable with just slide past for the sake of being comfortable. If anyone takes anything away from this song, I really hope it’s that.”

Over the last few weeks, OK Hotel have been busy on the road along the east coast. The final two dates of the tour are at Waywards in Sydney with Miss June Feb 28th and Workers Club in Melbourne with Miss June March 5th, and if you’re keen on getting out to a show you can get tickets through their Facebook. If you’re unable to make however, Swim is now streaming on all platforms, or you can watch the music video here.


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