Breaks and Swells
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Breaks and Swells

Seattle, Washington, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | INDIE

Seattle, Washington, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Pop Soul




"What you missed at Capitol Hill Block Party"

Breaks and Swells flows.

Soulful, classy, expressive, percussive — just a few words you can use to describe this funky, fun, nine-piece Seattle band. The Barboza stage was packed — people were letting loose and dancing up a storm to good old jazzy and blues riffs as lead singer Marquetta Miller's sugary coated vocals gave a sweet flavor to the sound. - The Stranger

"Video interview with Capitol Hill Times"

Video Interview - Capitol Hill Times

"Local Artist: Breaks and Swells"

Review by T. Monte

Barboza on the Hill kicked off the weekend with Breaks and Swells, a jazzy seven piece born here in Seattle. Formed in 2012, Breaks and Swells are finding their stride and have begun filling the local airwaves with their throwback sugar sweet sounds and boogie woogie breaks.

Fronted by Marquetta Miller, you are taken back in time to a dark room with a lonely spotlight, with dusty circular tables around a smoky stage. I would remark here about a curt bartender with a black vest on, pretending to run an upstanding establishment during Prohibition; However, Seattle, like every other city, drank its way through that too. Grab your cocktail and let’s get back to the stage. We’ll continue to pretend, because it’s simply more fun…

The chemistry of the band members brought the notes in the night to life. Guitarist Dylon Tubb broke it down with his bluesy-type riffs while bassist Kevin Cluppert towed the line with some surprisingly bold beats. Derrick Jones played fast and meticulous on drums. The package isn’t complete though without the warm and soulful contributions of the horns and keyboard, handled by Jeremy Shaskus, Shawn Mickelson, and Quinton Harris. Tubb also takes his hand at vocals, rounding out Miller’s delicate, yet gritty sound. One of the many crowd pleasers for the night was their rendition of Soft Cell’s, “Tainted Love.”

With more shows filling their calendar and an announcement for an EP in the near future, Breaks and Swells continue to find their niche giving a fresh face to a century-old sound. How cool is that? Find them on Facebook to track their shows, and by all means dust off that cocktail dress, grab your beau, and go show some local support (you’re allowed to show some leg, too).

Photos by Sunita Martini - Seattle Music News

"Greatness in a Basement: Breaks and Swells"

The Motown story turns music fans into not-entirely-functional-in-normal-society music nerds. Before you know about the dirt floor of Studio A, about James Jamerson and the Funk Brothers, the Detroit community that gave rise to pop soul, before that you look for stars and singers. After learning about Motown, you search out music by session men, by publishers. (My introduction, outside of quotes from English rockers about James Jamerson and stumbling across the TAMLA recordings at a CD shop, came from Mark Ribowsky’s The Supremes, before catching the outstanding film Standing in the Shadows of Motown.

This week, my music geekdom got me in over my head. Local producer/ engineer/ label director Charles Bork has recently constructed a basement studio—I had casually quoted the schematics of Studio A from Ribowsky’s book (in an email, I don’t have these things memorized, and I was literally reading the book at the time he announced his intentions). Half a year went by, and now the Bork basement hosts one of the best places to hear music from the Pacific Northwest, via U-stream through a show called Plastic Jet Airline. This basement studio has hosted 80 concerts so far, and their archive is already ridiculous—here’s Tobias the Owl, for example, playing his guts out:

Bork contacted me to say that as I’m a Motown nerd, I should come interview the soul band Breaks and Swells. Live on camera.

I arrived at the studio. Breaks and Swells were there, looking slightly dressy in person, but through the black and white cameras looking stunning. They were antsy. They were looking for direction. We talked about bourbon. And the cameras started, and then this nice, intense group of sub-30 musicians in a Ballard basement did this:

I was expecting the imitation soul, Motown Lite. I got razor sharp soul, played with imagination. “King of Hearts,” their opener, lodged in my head. But for nine straight songs, the band pushed the groove deeper and deeper. Marquetta Miller, the vocalist, is a standout. But the band holds its own: always engaged, never simplifying.

When music is this vibrant, this powerful, this engaging—you really don’t need to discuss hometowns, or influences. And so my interview was simply me stating that this band, at this moment, has it.

Breaks and Swells play the Rendezvous November 15, with Josh Hoyer and the Shadowboxers. Their music is available digitally through their website, and a 45 recorded by Charles Bork will be available shortly. - American Standard Time


King of Hearts/Burning - Groove-O-matic records "45 (2013)
Wake Up / Be My Man - Self released singles, Robert Lang Studios, Austin Sousa (2014)



     Breaks & Swells are the Seattle embodiment of soul revival. A nine-piece group, complete with horns and aux percussion. Think soul. Think funk.  In collaboration since 2012, intent on making even the most stoic of hipsters dance and boogie.  They've been cutting a rug all over Seattle, including sold out shows at Barboza, Capitol Hill Block Party, High Dive with the Staxx Brothers and DUG! at LOFI.

Having just released their self titled EP, recorded at Robert Lang studios and engineered by Austin Sousa and Ian LeSage of The Vault and mixed by Jerry Tubb of Terra Nova in Austin, Breaks and swells is ready to tear up the tour circuit.  Also finishing their full length album, which will be released early next year, Breaks and Swells is not only becoming a force in and around the Seattle area, but has their sights set on becoming a national act.

     So do yourself a favor and see what Breaks and Swells is all about.  You'll be shaking your head and tapping your toe.  Believe that.

Marquetta Miller - Vox

Dylon Tubb - Guitar

Kevin Cluppert - Bass

Derrick Jones - Drum set

Quinton Harris - Keys

Jeremy Shaskus - Sax

Shawn Mickelson - Trumpet

Andy Rosenberg - Sax

Raphe Boehme - Auxiliary Percussion 

Band Members