Monday, July 11, 2011

Swear & Shake - There Need Be No Other Title.

Every now and then, I happen across absolute gems in terms of music. As you know, if you've read my book or my writings here, I am influenced by music. It feeds into my writing and helps me to visualize and draw both character, scene and setting. So I am very much a connoisseur of music, if you will and I will seek out music from just about anywhere. 

But I don't just seek out music for my creative impulses. There is nothing more satisfying to me than discovering something that I can put on the stereo in my work shed on a cold Saturday afternoon, light the fire pot in the back garden and either knock the top off a few beers or pull the cork on a bottle of red and sit and relax in the splendor of my little domain. 

Recently, I happened across a totally legitimate free download from an indie/folk outfit from New York - a quartet with the name "Swear & Shake". The EP, aptly titled "Extended Play" is the first release from the band and it has created a considerable buzz since it's release late last year. Though it comprises only six tracks, "Extended Play" is one of those sit up and take notice the moment you put it on kind of albums. Where does one begin with describing them? Their sound is smooth and smoky, their vocals and harmonies soulful and languid, their lyrics infused with story and poignancy. They add untold depths to the flavor of a glass of wine. They warm your already warm belly with their honest and unrefined acoustics and they deliver a satisfying aural experience that you just don't hear enough of any more.

The band comprises 
Tom Elefante on Drums, Kari Spieler on Vocals & Guitar, Adam McHeffey on Vocals & Guitar, Shaun Savage on Bass. As an outfit, of relative youth, their sound reflects a maturity and grace that one might associate with an band of many years standing. Their discipline as a live touring band is also impressive and they are a regular fixture in live venues in and around New York and Manhattan. Their success thus far will see them spreading their wings further and I have had a tip off just recently that a tour down under in the next 18 months is not out of the question.        

Presently, "Extended Play" is available as a free download under the Creative Commons attribution for artistic works which means that you can download their EP "Extended Play" completely free and completely legitimately. However, I would encourage you to drop by the band's store and consider parting with $7USD for the physical CD or the $5USD digital download. While there, check out their other merch items including a T-Shirt and Baseball tee which is a favorite of mine.

In addition to their online store, "Swear & Shake" have also embarked on a fund raising venture via the Kickstarter capital raising platform, in the hope of being able to raise enough money to produce their first LP which is titled 'The Maple Ridge'. By pledging as little as $20USD to the project, you can make yourself eligible for a number of incentives/rewards from the band - some of which are quite attractive. It is definitely a worthy project to contribute to given the sublime talent of this quartet.

If you're in the mood for losing yourself in the loveliness of an acoustic sound that is refreshingly honest and as smooth and smoky as an open fire and a glass of wine, then treat yourself to "Swear & Shake". You will not be disappointed. 



  1. I LOVE S&S, their music is just so beautiful! :D

  2. Indeed it is Genna. One of the most lovely discoveries musically, I've made this past year. I am truly looking forward to their debut long player "The Maple Ridge".

    I only wish I could make it to New York for their CD launch party.

    Please do visit their kickstarter project portal which I've linked in the post. You can donate as much or as little as you can afford and there are some really great incentives for donating. If they can crack $4500USD then we'll be seeing great things happening with S&S.

  3. S&S announced this past week that their Kickstarter goal has been reached and The Maple Ridge album will be released!! Very exciting stuff.