“Sword” by Littleuniverses is a dark, droning, mesmerizing work of art. A set of complex chords carry along the light, mysterious vocal through a cloud of driving instrumentation. It wouldn’t be surprising if the phrase “trance-inducing” has been used to describe this song before, but to put the same idea into different words, it’s purely hypnotic.
The song begins with a deep, distorted power chord blaring behind other gentler guitar motifs, as well as a pulsing synth. A kick drum holds the beat, “four-on-the-floor” style as the synth becomes louder. Suddenly, the singer utters, “The link that you sent me / Leads to another me / The goddess with a sword.” These lyrics not only beg questions but begin to build an intricate narrative. This dichotomy is one that pretty much always generates a great lyric. If you pepper in one part vagueness and one part imagery or storytelling, you’ll end up with an intriguing, mysterious, clever set of lyrics.
As the song continues, we find ourselves immersed in feverish electronic drums, even more wildly spacy synths, and a satisfying amount of simple yet effective guitar work. The guitars are what actually set this song apart from other dream pop records. The sound of a distorted power chord oozes grunginess and gives this track more of a rock sensibility. The lyric is able to take on a little bit of grit and seriousness.
If you love dark pop or alternative rock music, this song could be for you. Be sure to check out Littleuniverses, and stream “Sword” while you’re at it!
Written by Alyce Lindberg