"Hunger for a Way Out" is my post-punk anthem of the week, and maybe of 2020. Released this summer by Sweeping Promises, a new project by Boston artists Lira Mondal and Caufield Schnug (also of Mini Dresses), the title track of their debut album is beautifully unrefined and establishes Sweeping Promises as a staple in the Boston DIY scene.
Written in a matter of minutes and recorded in a large concrete bunker in Cambridge with a single microphone, "Hunger for a Way Out" is infectious and edgy, with powerful vocals from Mondal and lo-fi guitar, bass, and synths that make the song perfectly mosh-able.
"The words just came to us — it's probably about the sensation of feeling no future," Mondal tells me. "People think it is a song about quarantine, but we actually wrote it at least a month before we were aware of that coming reality. It's a first-take kind of song."
Mondal and Schnug worked backward, writing most of the A-side of their album and creating Sweeping Promises out of a need to house the new songs, which differ in style and genre from their other projects like Mini Dresses. They avoided computer beautification and editing and scrapped songs that took longer than 20 minutes to write, resulting in a sound that's rough around the edges but wonderfully crafted.
"Sweeping Promises is unfussy, while Mini Dresses albums take forever to write and record. It also feels like the more austere sound of Sweeping Promises has to come after Mini Dresses' softer approach," Mondal says.
The track is cathartic to listen to. It's rebellious and a little bit existential and expresses the duo's feelings about the world right now.
"Hunger For a Way Out" is an acknowledgment of our anxieties and frustrations of living in the present moment," Mondal tells me. "It's a defiant call to arms against complacency in an increasingly dystopic world."