By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
Sweat recorded her debut album, Mantic, in San Francisco before moving to Savannah, Ga.; she felt called there by the small-town vibe and creative community. In Georgia, she eased herself into the world of live performance while nannying to pay the bills. She returned to Los Angeles last September.
Mantic sees Sweat exploring her newfound creative process; the title refers to powers of divination or a connection with the spirit world. "That's really how I felt at the time," she says.
All My Love in Half Light, meanwhile, finds her in full command of these skills.
It is deceptively simple music. On the surface, elemental piano shares the spotlight with clear, forthright vocals that come from down in the gut while also maintaining a lightly ethereal quality.
This faraway sound explores themes of maturity, found in everything from love and femininity to self-possession.
"If life is for wanting, and I am for wanting, then I want for nothing," she sings on "Eventide."
On "Goudunov" — which she describes as "your standard self-esteem song" — she repeats, "I am good enough for this world" over and over, until she actually seems to believe it.
"With this album I was very explicitly dealing with love and everything related to that," Sweat says. "I was definitely working through a sort of a spiritual housecleaning of past relationships." Thus, old patterns and habits were discarded.
"I started to say no to casual relationships and casual sex. I had a sense of not wanting to be with anyone until I felt like it was love." (As poetic justice would have it, Sweat started dating someone shortly after moving back to L.A.)
"It sounds so retro," she says, laughing, "and counter to the type of woman I've been since I was young. But what I really realized was that I'm not invincible, emotionally."
An admission of weakness? Not at all. In fact, it is much more the opposite.