Teddy Swims began uploading covers of Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse, and Shania Twain on social media in June 2019, captivating viewers in the millions with his raspy, powerhouse vocals.
After that he signed a deal with Warner Records, released his single “Picky,” completed his first headline tour, and shared his 2021 debut EP Unlearning.
It’s a zero-to-100 whiplash that can be difficult to process in the moment, but with time Swims sensed a life’s changing of the seasons: things, and people, coming and going. While the Georgia-born singer-songwriter has always bared his heart through his music, from feeling unlucky in love on Unlearning’s “Will It Find Me” to practicing gratitude on 2021’s “Simple Things,” other layers—fears, anxieties, and insecurities—remained unplumbed.
I’ve Tried Everything But Therapy (Part 1), Swims’ full-length debut, embarks on that deeper self-exploration through visceral storytelling. The title comes from his observation that younger generations are breaking decades of stigma by being open about their mental health.
By opening up about his struggles with love and loss, he takes his first step towards healing. On album opener “Some Things I’ll Never Know,” Swims asks a question to which he doesn’t really want the answer: “When did your heart let me go?” Reconciling with a failing relationship over gentle piano, he compares toxic love to addiction on “Lose Control,” a bluesy ballad of spiraling vocal runs, wailing electric guitar solos, and pounding drums. Swims breaks the cycle on “The Door,” reaching a sonic and emotional peak as he belts, “I said I would die for you, baby/But I can’t take this pain no more.” Here, he doesn’t sing from the soul as much as rip it out and lay it bare, guts and all. The mood turns more subdued with the breezy country guitars of “You Still Get to Me,” an admission that feelings don’t always end with the breakup. But on the emotional, croon-filled closer “Evergreen,” Swims is ready to fall in love again, even if it means letting his guard down.