Des (Swims) takes on a kid with a paintbrush persona on brand new tracks

St. Paul native Desmond Lawrence has been making music since he was 16 years old, experimenting with different sounds combinations, primarily creating ambient instrumentals. It wasn’t until a few years ago that he pivoted into songwriting… and thus, a new Swims was born.

Des uses his songwriting and lyrics to bridge the gap between our lives and our emotions, something that is not an easy feat. As for his production, Swims uses sounds like acoustic guitar, bass, shaker, hand drum, and piano to create an organic atmosphere. “I emphasize the cohesion of various textures in my music, always trying to surprise the listeners ear with a sound unexpected but not out of place” quotes Swims.

We asked Des for his personal take on his upcoming EP as a whole and he had this to say:

making something that sounds like a kid with a paintbrush is a sort of thesis i kept coming back to. i was just freely creating, throwing lots of sounds and ideas at the wall, trying my best not to overthink, and, most of all, keeping the music playful. i wanted to make something cute, nice, and light, which isn’t to say some of the subject matter isn’t a little heavy at times. this is also probably the poppiest music i’ve ever made, leaning vocal-centric, using more drum breaks, and somewhat traditional song structures. in the past i was wary of even repeating a chorus unless it felt necessary, but with this little batch i just wanted to make something satisfying and familiar, but still leaning structurally linear.

Let’s dive deeper into each teaser track individually.


The first track out of the pair: Des perfectly lines up his low-lit vocals next to a lighthearted, and steady drum-lead beat. I’m a huge fan of build-ups (even as tiny as this tune), which is what you get with this one. There’s a small ramp up from the twinkle of the synths to the eventual breakdown. This song is the epitome of what he had mentioned above… “like a kid with a paintbrush”.

The song is short and sweet in nature, but that just makes you want to play it over and over again. I promise you’ll do that much.


Taller deploys that same vocal scheme as “Step”, but the backdrop is definitely less poppy and more melancholic. You really get a feel for Swim’s organic production process – the hand drum, triangle, experimental guitar, shaker, etc. All are present and all play an important part in the track.

I don’t know about you, but I get big Nirvana vibes from this one. What do you think?

“Step” and “Taller” are out tonight at midnight. Be sure to stream them, share them, and let us know what you think in the comments below. Enjoy!