Sunday, 28 September 2008

Richard Swift

Richard Swift got a mention a few weeks ago so it seems appropriate to elaborate on him a little and specifically around his most recent release, Richard Swift As Onasis.

From previous work, The Novelist; Dressed Up For The Let Down and Walking Without Effort, Richard Swift has a nostalgic, if hazy, air of Randy Newman or Harry Nilsson. Bubbling pianos blended with infected balladeer story telling make up the majority of his work. Yet buried in the heart of this troubled crooner is a soul of blood curdling rock n’ roll. Like Jerry Lee Lewis tearing him a new hole.

Sounding like it’s been recorded in a small corner of a derelict meat packing district warehouse Knee-High Boogie Blues, a storming hand-made call and answer number, introduces Swift, As Onasis. Onasis continues delving through a sack of danceable garage rock n’ roll, tasting like Dirtbombs guitar and anonymous without vocals until, through echo and more distortion Swift delivers with a snarl.

Without warning, or hesitation, As Onasis turns to the further reaches of rock n’ roll as he’s come to know it. Twisting through experimental heavily doused punk and post- drifting back through his piano driven bubbles of brilliance.

As Onasis is a huge album from a man relatively underrated yet wonderfully prolific. Although lo-fi it never sounds cheap or shoddy and successfully bridges modern blues like Seasick Steve to our antifolk favourites spanning 60’s LA and 70’s NYC along the way.

Before starting this post I checked to see if there had been a new release since Richard Swift As Onasis, not only so I would be focussing on most recent work but moreover that I want more he has so far let me have. In doing so I discovered there is a little something on Secretly Canadian's website, a digital only EP called Ground Trouble Jaw.

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