Last year I had the pleasure of watching Swear and Shake, an indie/folk four-piece from Brooklyn, and it was love at first listen. Their five-track EPExtended Play is what I’ve been playing pretty much non-stop ever since, and I can almost guarantee that no matter what genre of music you find yourself most at home in you will fall in love. It’s got the makings of a great EP; yes, it’s short, but every song packs a sensory punch that leaves you wanting more music from the group (good news, they’re in the middle of recording a full length!)
Even while singing about the darker parts of love, Kari Spieler’s voice manages to be smoky-sweet, strong through every note as the lyrics take you on five separate journeys. On “Johnnie”, she sings of a man’s imperfections and her willingness to love them while the drum playing of Tom Elfante trots along behind her, bass playing of Shaun Savage warming with its deep tones. “Truckstop Flower” features the vocals of guitar player and co-songwriter Adam McHeffey, a perfect compliment to Kari’s warm tone in the upbeat track. They come to a close with “Bones”, my personal favorite, which is an honest and raw track that tugs on your heartstrings from start to finish and leave you wanting more still.
Fans of Mumford & Sons and Arcade Fire are sure to love Swear and Shake. Really anyone with a heart open to soft, sweet, but soulful music will welcome them with open arms. You’re gonna love them. You’re welcome.