Sly Withers struggle with isolation on gut-punching new single ‘Passing Through’

It’s the Perth band’s first new music for 2022, and a “taste of bigger things to come”

Sly Withers have returned with their first new tune for 2022, a stirring emo-punk anthem titled ‘Passing Through’.

In a press release, co-frontmen Jono Mata and Sam Blitvich described the song as “a step up” from what the band have released in years past, and noted that it serves as “your first taste of bigger things to come”.

Mata leads the fray on ‘Passing Through’, and in his own statement, explained that he wrote an early version of it “at a time where I felt pressured to want something I was nervous about and didn’t feel ready for”. He continued to say that the song “talks about the idea that for various reasons, goals can be misaligned, and the pressure that creates between two people”.

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Take a look at the visualiser for ‘Passing Through’, helmed by filmmaker Tim Elphick, below:

Elaborating on the song’s themes of distance and disconnection, Blitvich said: “On a surface level I feel like the concept of ‘passing through’ is pretty tied to the amount of touring we’ve been doing over the past few years (even with a bit of a 2020-sized hole in the middle there). Never really spending much time in a place leads to this perpetual feeling of being on the move.

“I think Jono is referencing the challenges of that lifestyle in this song along with the more universal idea of feeling ‘not all there’ with the people you’re close to at times when you’re mentally struggling. It’s a track with a pretty firm theme of ‘absence’ running throughout.”

‘Passing Through’ comes as the first track to follow Sly Withers’ second album, ‘Gardens’. That album landed last June – with singles including ‘Cracks’, ‘Clarkson’ and ‘Breakfast’ – before a deluxe edition followed in November. In addition to the B-sides ‘Selfish’ and ‘Tell Me Why’, the reissue featured a studio recording of their Like A Version cover of Coldplay’s ‘The Scientist’.

Sly Withers have just two gigs on the horizon. They’ll play a headline show on the Margaret River on Saturday July 9 – find tickets here – and appear alongside GorillazThe Strokes and Tyler, The Creator at this year’s Splendour In The Grass.

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