Video: Dayton Swim Club, ‘Landers’

Dayton Swim Club

Musician, visual artist and native Midwesterner Nick Flessa released his gritty-smart album “Flyover States” in 2018, and EPs in each of the next two years, the latter an electronic affair benefiting charity.

Now the Nick Flessa Band has morphed into Dayton Swim Club, a project fronted by Dominique Matelson and Flessa and featuring guitarist/producer Mario Luna, bassist Kirsten Bladh and drummer Jessica Perelman, among others.

Not content to have made the best song we’ve ever heard about Glendale, Flessa is forging ahead under the new band name and plotting the Sept. 17 release of a new mini-album, “Hangman,” via Perpetual Doom.

“Landers” is the second single released from the seven-song collection, and it’s a ghostly dirge drenched in Western noir that arrives with a video set in both Landers and Palm Springs and directed by John Dowd.

Flessa shares the origin story:

“On Aug. 9, 2019, Nick Flessa Band (the precursor to Dayton Swim Club) played a strange show at Landers Brew, a venue off a dirt road in the high desert of Landers, Calif. It was a few days after David Berman’s death and the night before Jeffrey Epstein’s. There was something in the air. Our drummer’s kit got run over by a drunk driver while we were loading out. There had just been a rainstorm in the area, and our city cars got stuck in the unforgiving dirt roads. Things kept breaking. The night hadn’t been well-promoted by the booker; we performed in front of a mostly empty room.

“During the first phase of 2020’s lockdown, I stayed with my partner’s family in Palm Springs for three months, living in a small back house next to a golf course. It was a strange sanctuary but I felt lucky to be out of the city. I thought a lot about the manicured land of the golf course and the resources used to keep it that way. I got stoned and took late night walks alone in the empty course, letting my mind wander, sometimes walking through the sprinklers to cool off and snap back into the moment.

“I wrote the lyrics to Landers while living next to the golf course during this first stint of quarantine, over an instrumental composition Mario Luna sent me with the same name. I tracked vocals remotely, alone in a room with a borrowed microphone. The weight of American self-destruction was heavy then, and it’s heavy now. That history of outward violence, conquest and resource extraction has its own suicidal interior — the flip side of the puritanical and the moralistic — something that turns up in stranger ways during these strange days as many go back to brunch, quickly forgetting all that has happened in the past year.

“Amidst the current amnesia and turmoil we were able to gather in person to make a video. It uses the settings of Landers and Palm Springs to give some passing reflection on the death cult our country has become, or maybe always was — plagued by the bad spirit of a manifest destiny to destroy everything, including oneself. A land where you have the freedom to use COVID, booze, cigarettes, casinos and more to be your own hang, man.”

||| Watch: The video for “Landers”

||| Also: Stream “Night Breed”

||| Live: Dayton Swim Club perform in support of Hank May and Gal Pal on Friday at Zebulon. Info.

||| Previously: “Hell’s Bells,” “Bare Fists” / “Roped” / “Glendale”