News; Everything new and exciting that pertains to Common Swift, mainly in Madison.
Common Swift has once again been played on The Epileptic Gibbon podcast music show. Ever since we found out about this podcast last year we’ve really enjoyed listening to it, and really think that any serious music fan will appreciate the breadth of unique and original music that the podcast features. The host is knowledgeable and passionate about the music he plays, and helps to show that appreciation for truly original and complicated music is not dead in our time. Here’s a link to the website.
Quick update: Common Swift just got some play on The Epileptic Gibbon podcast music show. If you haven’t been listening to this show you should definitely start. Each podcast is filled with interesting and new (mostly indie) music in a number of genres, and the host of the show has a good sense of what is worthwhile in music. Very entertaining podcast and we’re excited to be played on it. Here’s a link to the website.
We just released our new EP, ‘Passing Spirit.’ It’s available for download on CDBaby, and should be available shortly on iTunes and most other major music retailers/download services.
This 3-song EP was a chance for us to tie lingering ideas from last years’ ‘These Safe Homes’ in with new style and recording techniques. We also hoped to explore the nature of our relationships as remembrance shades our past and future. As drifting bodies floating in place, we spin in systems we built ourselves, wishing for something else we can’t grasp or even utter in our dreams.
Passing Spirit EP track list:
1- And in the Fading Light
2- Desk to Dust
3- In Your Place
Here’s a write-up from earlier this summer by the UK music publication Fireworks Magazine:
‘These Safe Homes’ is the new CD from COMMON SWIFT who are out of Madison, Wisconsin. They have been getting good press all over Europe. The band have been together since 2008 and are completed by Al Calderon – drums, Brian Strutt – guitar, vocals, John Frater – bass, and Parker Reynolds – piano/keys, vocals. I had a chat with Brian Strutt to find out more.
The band’s music could be described as Indie with progressive and melodic influences. Songs like ‘Accidents Become Meaning’, the moody ‘Separate Sighs’ and ‘As The Crystals Fell (Life Sat Tightly’ are excellent, I liked ‘Accidents Become Meaning’, this track has a loose edge that makes me think of Rush and a mellow Dream Theater crossed with Indie edges of say Muse and Ocean Colour Scene, the guitar playing on this track is awesome, and the whole track is stunning. The vocals on ‘As The Crystals Fell (Life Sat Tightly)’ are stunning, the whole musical vibe is brilliant whilst holding a melodic edge it also nods to a vintage sixties feel,
maybe a little Cream, Iron Butterfly, Man influenced with a fantastic shredding guitar solo mid way, basically the band are a hard one to tag, and that’s what makes them original in style against many bands out there at the moment, the album is one of those albums that you won’t get by skipping through or playing once, you need to live with it for a while and then everything slides into focus on just how brilliant Common Swift actually are.
Music was always important for Brian’s parents, and they made sure it was important to their children. ‘In second grade I started learning piano and music
theory, and I was involved in every musical opportunity available from then on, starting my bands, singing in choirs, participating in high school musicals, which led to me getting my degree in music education from Cornell college. During my first week at Cornell in 2003 I met Parker Reynolds and we became close friends, working on various artistic projects together throughout college. From then on we have been making music together,’ he says.
The band wants to write music that they personally like to hear and haven’t heard before. ‘When listening to music we tend to get bored easily, so we try to write
songs we don’t find boring. We have degrees in music education, theatre, and English so we incorporate our particular strengths into each song, and attempt to take a somewhat scholarly approach to being a band. However we definitely consider ourselves to be students of indie rock, and listen to as much new music as we can. In the end we want to say something with our music, something complex, personal, and hopefully meaningful.’ Next up for the band is continuing to play shows in the Midwest United States, and working on a follow up EP. ‘We’re also really excited to start work on our next full length album, and hopefully will have a more extensive tour scheduled soon.’ Check out this excellent band out at www.commonswiftband.com
We’re releasing a three song EP, “Passing Spirit,” on August 15th as an on-line only release, available from iTunes and CDBaby. The EP was recorded at our home studio in Madison, WI and consists of songs we’ve been playing live but hadn’t recorded. After the EP is finished we’ll be turning our energies to a new untitled full-length LP project. More news on that project to come in the next few months.
There’s a new review of These Safe Homes on ConcreteWeb.be. Although some of the facts are incorrect (Holly is an original song written by Brian and me), I love the playful nature of the review, and think the reviewer did a great job capturing and distilling some key qualities of our sound into the review. We are definitely “influenced by Radiohead’s more experimental calmer side,” and were honored to read that he felt These Safe Homes was “an album which needs to be heard repeatedly in order to be appreciated to the fullest.” Another great review from a great music website.
(I’ve included the full review below, however please check out their site. They have a wide library of reviews and really seem to focus on up-and-coming indie bands.)
Now here’s a weirdo! I’d listened to the music before even checking on the info, and my immediate thought was, “Are those guys playing on one of those furniture-size home piano/organs?”, you know, the big stand-up type young granddads would buy to “impress” their offspring? And you know something, that’s exactly what Common Swift does!
Possibly Parker Reynolds inherited a such instrument, and started composing songs on it which he also sings. And when his friends (guitarist/ backing singer Brian Strutt, bassist John Frater, and drummer Al Calderon) heard him play they decided to jump in and make it a foursome. Well…that’s one possible way things could’ve gone. Truth is, there’s not much info on the band available, other than that they’re from Madison (Wisconsin) and formed back in 2008, and that they feel influenced by the likes of Radiohead, Deerhoof, and Sunset Rubdown. Of course everyone knows the first, and I’d say that in view of the overall sound of CS, they’re mostly influenced by Radiohead’s more experimental calmer side…but I’ve never heard anything by the two latter, so I cannot compare. When in use, the guitar riffs are usually played with a somewhat vicious touch to it, and in some calmer moments there’s a soft Funky touch to it which,in combination with the occasionally soulful keyboards, give the band a reminiscence to some of the more obscure Soul/ Funk/ Rock bands of the late ’60, early ’70s…especially since the vocals all have a calmer side to ‘em as well. Actually…come to think of it, that sharp guitar has some soft-progressive side to it which almost could be likened to early Kraut Rock stuff! And, euhm…does this band’s song “Holly” sound as familiar to you as it does to me? I mean, if it ain’t a cover (the originally of which I’ve therefore clearly heard at some time), it is a darn good track with freakishly catchy melodies which should be pushed to further the band in their career!
At any rate, this is an album which needs to be heard repeatedly in order to be appreciated to the fullest…or at least that how things were with me! I mean, it took me some time to be able to analyze what I heard, and I can only hope that, with the above in mind, you will find the appreciation point a lot faster. You can check out a 4-some of songs off the album at www.myspace.com/commonswift. Wacky dudes, this! And would you know…they didn’t post “Holly”…perhaps that’s a cover after all then?
Skrutt, a Swedish review site, recently reviewed “These Safe Homes” and had some very kind words about the album, calling it “a musical journey” and “really attractive music.” They also claimed that our music was “really well played and Common Swift can be something big with the right help.” We’re thrilled that they think so highly of our potential, and really appreciate the review.