Nearly three years ago, Toronto-born, Berlin-based singer Sway Clarke (formerly Sway Clarke II) captivated us with “I Don’t Need Much,” a stripped down ode to a sort of modern ascetic lifestyle with a dash of the old hedonism (its immediately memorable chorus: “I don’t need much/Some cigarettes and alcohol/iPhone for a few calls/My crew and a mean broad”). To paraphrase one of its lyrics, “I Don’t Need Much” showcased Clarke’s gift for beauty in simplicity, for turning a catalog of daily life into an anthem for the every day.
Three years on, “I Don’t Need Much” still feels a fresh. It serves as a perfect window into Clarke’s world—a bittersweet celebration of love and excess—and the key song on Bad Love, his debut EP. In a week of crushing darkness, Bad Love serves as a reminder of the small personal triumphs and tribulations that happen to us all on a daily basis, an often humorous glimpse at the warts of humanity.
“These songs are not about ‘breakups,’ they’re about ‘coming clean,'” Clarke says of Bad Love. “The only way to really test true love.” Songs like “Deepak Chopra” arise out of Clarke’s moveable feast, rooted in the question of “whether all party-goers have psychological issues or responsibly lose their minds for a weekend or two.”
Listen to Bad Love below.