Swallows
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Swallows

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"One of the Top Albums of 2008"

"Songs for Strippers (and other professions)" is ranked at #57 on Consequence of Sound's Top 100 Albums of 2008 list.

Check out Consequence of Sound's Top 100 Albums of 2008 list at: http://consequenceofsound.net/100-51/ - Consequence of Sound - December 2008


"One of the Top Albums of 2008"

"Songs for Strippers (and other professions)" is ranked at #57 on Consequence of Sound's Top 100 Albums of 2008 list.

Check out Consequence of Sound's Top 100 Albums of 2008 list at: http://consequenceofsound.net/100-51/ - Consequence of Sound - December 2008


"Consequence of Sound CD Review"

It is seldom that one gets to enthusiastically introduce new bands with raw talent, but this is one of those moments. Swallows, an alternative band out of Minnesota has invoked what people are calling "rock and roll, ugly and beautiful, profane and spiritual." Formed in 2007 and utilizing everything from your basic guitars and musique concrete to electric cello and banjo, Swallows released their 2008 debut album Songs for Strippers and Other Professions to critical acclaim locally:

"Brilliant! The overall effect is a dramatic, nearly operatic build." - Bob Milton, The Milton Files

"Eleven tracks of vintage rock and roll that will tear you up." - John Siwicki, The Comfort Comes

McKnight Foundation Fellowship award-winning avant garde composer Aaron Kerr has worked with everything from dance troupes to various other indie bands, and now plays cello for Swallows. He is not in unlikely company either with founding member of Thinland, Jeff Crandall, on guitar and environmental sounds, Tyson Allison of alt-rock ensemble Gliss on percussion, and rural musician Frank Spencer chipping in between banjo and accordion.

This quartet brings a blend of classic blues, a barrage of eclectic instruments, and warm yet gritty Nick Cave vocals to a state otherwise known for Atmosphere and Sage Francis. After receiving a copy of their debut, I noted a shifting of moods from heavy guitar-laden indie crashing in "Not Your Kind of Man" and "Kerouac" to the dark and somber "Come To Me," right before entering folk trends with "The Last Happy Shot" and "Days Like This" (the latter featuring prevalent cello). The aforementioned operatic description is not far from fact.

If you like something original that doesn't try to be anything more complex than rich and flavorful art, then Swallows should be your next taste test. There isn't any analysis to the guys who if in possession of a harmonica could put Blues Traveler to shame; they have a welcoming, organic feel while their first music video for "Come To Me" stands out like a haunting Jaws theme during Finding Nemo.

Trust me, get yourself a copy of Songs for Strippers and just play it for background sound - you will wonder why you had not done so sooner. Also of note, the band's cellist Aaron Kerr has just recently finished mastering a collection of 10 coffee shop mood instrumentals titled Dissonant Creatures. There you have it, and coming highly recommended I might add.

~~~~~
consequenceofsound.net - David Buchanan - November 2008


"The Red Alert CD Review"

Some fairly straight up rock and roll here, touching at times on the edge of the Replacements, but somewhat darker in tone. There are little hints of folk and blues that wind in with the rhythms, keeping the songs from becoming to clichéd, and instrumentations that pull it out from the pile of what you’ve heard before. The moody cello swooning through “I Won’t Let You Down”. These songs are tied to cities and their streets.

Sometimes feeling East Coast in direction, with that raw New York rock sound, but sometimes it crosses the country and slides in with memories of the slight jam band moments you would find in the early sounds of those Seattle grunge ballads.

There are little hints of sounds that take the band and their songs into a more current time, a little post-indie guitar twang that breaks into a gritty vocal line that brings to mind Tom Waits, or probably a little more accurately, Mr. Waits long time acquaintance, Chuck E. Weiss. Off kilter piano hits bring in some points of pleasure, and the appearance of frantic mandolin helps take the album into more interesting areas.

This is definitely an album that you need to let play. If you just listen to the first song and give up, you’re going to miss something that could be very important. - Marcel Feldmar - March 2009


"The Red Alert CD Review"

Some fairly straight up rock and roll here, touching at times on the edge of the Replacements, but somewhat darker in tone. There are little hints of folk and blues that wind in with the rhythms, keeping the songs from becoming to clichéd, and instrumentations that pull it out from the pile of what you’ve heard before. The moody cello swooning through “I Won’t Let You Down”. These songs are tied to cities and their streets.

Sometimes feeling East Coast in direction, with that raw New York rock sound, but sometimes it crosses the country and slides in with memories of the slight jam band moments you would find in the early sounds of those Seattle grunge ballads.

There are little hints of sounds that take the band and their songs into a more current time, a little post-indie guitar twang that breaks into a gritty vocal line that brings to mind Tom Waits, or probably a little more accurately, Mr. Waits long time acquaintance, Chuck E. Weiss. Off kilter piano hits bring in some points of pleasure, and the appearance of frantic mandolin helps take the album into more interesting areas.

This is definitely an album that you need to let play. If you just listen to the first song and give up, you’re going to miss something that could be very important. - Marcel Feldmar - March 2009


"All Music Guide Review"

Swallows' "Songs for Strippers and Other Professions," which adheres to a happy belief in the power of bluesy swagger and good-time jams and the kind of attitude that there's nothing better than that, an eternal 1970 spiked with a sense of sturdy '90s rock (of the neo-AOR variety rather than slacker crypticness).... Every so often this all gets put together with a sense of truly lovely craft -- "Bottom Feeder" becomes a neo-sea shanty, complete with strings, that nearly takes the whole album to a new level on its own -- while around the corners there's bits of random psychedelia creeping out ("I Won't Let You Down" draws on the same late-night moodout that the Darkside's "Guitar Voodoo" does, at least initially, while the occasional frazzled solo and reverb overload hits related touchstones). It's all well performed and sounds nice, and doubtless will please a listener who's already inclined to such sounds.... - Ned Raggett - April 2009


"All Music Guide Review"

Swallows' "Songs for Strippers and Other Professions," which adheres to a happy belief in the power of bluesy swagger and good-time jams and the kind of attitude that there's nothing better than that, an eternal 1970 spiked with a sense of sturdy '90s rock (of the neo-AOR variety rather than slacker crypticness).... Every so often this all gets put together with a sense of truly lovely craft -- "Bottom Feeder" becomes a neo-sea shanty, complete with strings, that nearly takes the whole album to a new level on its own -- while around the corners there's bits of random psychedelia creeping out ("I Won't Let You Down" draws on the same late-night moodout that the Darkside's "Guitar Voodoo" does, at least initially, while the occasional frazzled solo and reverb overload hits related touchstones). It's all well performed and sounds nice, and doubtless will please a listener who's already inclined to such sounds.... - Ned Raggett - April 2009


"Zeitgeist (Edinburgh, UK) Review"

Hailing from Minneapolis/St. Paul in Minnesota, Swallows have a surprisingly filthy name and an album of songs which, in the words of cellist and composer Aaron Kerr is “a collection of inspirational songs honoring strippers and burlesque dancers everywhere.” Which seems like an absolutely tremendous idea. With added cowbell....

There is enough here to keep me happy including the riffy 'Not Your Kind Of Man', the ballad 'Come To Me' and the almost Blues-like 'Days Like This', which are the highlights on this eleven track set....

I suspect the slow descent into the darker songs is completely deliberate, and it's the kind of album that Bad Seeds / Grinderman fans would warm to, when Nick Cave is away doing his arty farty stuff. The whole band show themselves to be instrumentally adept, and it's an album well worth checking out. - Stuart Hamilton - April 2009


"Zeitgeist (Edinburgh, UK) Review"

Hailing from Minneapolis/St. Paul in Minnesota, Swallows have a surprisingly filthy name and an album of songs which, in the words of cellist and composer Aaron Kerr is “a collection of inspirational songs honoring strippers and burlesque dancers everywhere.” Which seems like an absolutely tremendous idea. With added cowbell....

There is enough here to keep me happy including the riffy 'Not Your Kind Of Man', the ballad 'Come To Me' and the almost Blues-like 'Days Like This', which are the highlights on this eleven track set....

I suspect the slow descent into the darker songs is completely deliberate, and it's the kind of album that Bad Seeds / Grinderman fans would warm to, when Nick Cave is away doing his arty farty stuff. The whole band show themselves to be instrumentally adept, and it's an album well worth checking out. - Stuart Hamilton - April 2009


"CDBaby.com Editors Pick"

An ethereal, lush and dreamy expedition into the dark, deep and blue crystal crevasses of David Sylvian, R.E.M., Nick Drake, and Elliot Smith, among others, tumbling their listeners into an emotionally exposed and beautifully melancholy existence. Dive into the formless dream worlds and the gloriously powerless zero-gravity of fate... and take this CD with you. - Tamara Turner - April 2003


"CDBaby.com Editors Pick"

An ethereal, lush and dreamy expedition into the dark, deep and blue crystal crevasses of David Sylvian, R.E.M., Nick Drake, and Elliot Smith, among others, tumbling their listeners into an emotionally exposed and beautifully melancholy existence. Dive into the formless dream worlds and the gloriously powerless zero-gravity of fate... and take this CD with you. - Tamara Turner - April 2003


"Kings of A&R CD Review"

Intelligent, luxuriant & compelling indie rock/pop/folk. Falls somewhere between Elliot Smith, REM, Radiohead, Nick Drake, The Eels, U2, etc. NEEDS to be heard. It's dreamy, imaginative and inspiring. Listen to it again & again & again. - Kings of A&R, New York - April 2003


"Kings of A&R CD Review"

Intelligent, luxuriant & compelling indie rock/pop/folk. Falls somewhere between Elliot Smith, REM, Radiohead, Nick Drake, The Eels, U2, etc. NEEDS to be heard. It's dreamy, imaginative and inspiring. Listen to it again & again & again. - Kings of A&R, New York - April 2003


"The Comfort Comes Review"

Eleven tracks of vintage rock and roll that will tear you up. - John Siwicki - May 2008


"The Comfort Comes Review"

Eleven tracks of vintage rock and roll that will tear you up. - John Siwicki - May 2008


"Not Lame Records Review"

Sometimes you come across "great music" that just does not conform the way you usually listen to music and which demands a bit more of your focus and attention…. Acoustic and orchestral elements, layered guitars, poignant and introspective lyrics, and compelling melodies, [give] the band an unique sound that ranges from acoustic folk songs with string and orchestral backing to full-out rockers with loud, aggressive guitars, driving rhythms, and memorable melodies. We could compare them to the very best of moving R.E.M., the beatific landscapes of David Sylvian's solo material, Leonard Cohen and The Eels…. You should hear this record, sooner as opposed to later. Extremely Highly Recommended. - Bruce Brodeen - April 2003


"Not Lame Records Review"

Sometimes you come across "great music" that just does not conform the way you usually listen to music and which demands a bit more of your focus and attention…. Acoustic and orchestral elements, layered guitars, poignant and introspective lyrics, and compelling melodies, [give] the band an unique sound that ranges from acoustic folk songs with string and orchestral backing to full-out rockers with loud, aggressive guitars, driving rhythms, and memorable melodies. We could compare them to the very best of moving R.E.M., the beatific landscapes of David Sylvian's solo material, Leonard Cohen and The Eels…. You should hear this record, sooner as opposed to later. Extremely Highly Recommended. - Bruce Brodeen - April 2003


"The Milton Files CD Review"

Holy S$&#!! Brilliant - the schizophrenic call and response of styles (belligerent to dreamy, repeat, repeat) on first seven tracks, and then the merging of these styles in "The Last Happy Shot" is very compelling; the overall effect is a dramatic, nearly operatic build. Great (extensive, I'll wager) studio work: Swallows fit the more eccentric sounds and instruments in seamlessly (unlike most bands, where it sounds tacked on and gimmicky). Record reviewers love to say that the sophomore album is a daunting, nearly impossible task, but this "Songs for Strippers..." is great; it sounds like Thinland, but it is most definitely all new - it's like a second act that follows a brief intermission. Also, the lead guitar was beautiful - did you guys get that good? I nearly had to pull the car off the road for the rush of memory flashes of various venues and bad behavior triggered by "Undone." - Bob Milton - May 2008


"The Milton Files CD Review"

Holy S$&#!! Brilliant - the schizophrenic call and response of styles (belligerent to dreamy, repeat, repeat) on first seven tracks, and then the merging of these styles in "The Last Happy Shot" is very compelling; the overall effect is a dramatic, nearly operatic build. Great (extensive, I'll wager) studio work: Swallows fit the more eccentric sounds and instruments in seamlessly (unlike most bands, where it sounds tacked on and gimmicky). Record reviewers love to say that the sophomore album is a daunting, nearly impossible task, but this "Songs for Strippers..." is great; it sounds like Thinland, but it is most definitely all new - it's like a second act that follows a brief intermission. Also, the lead guitar was beautiful - did you guys get that good? I nearly had to pull the car off the road for the rush of memory flashes of various venues and bad behavior triggered by "Undone." - Bob Milton - May 2008


Discography

Albums:
Witching & Divining - 2012
Songs for Strippers (and other professions) - 2008

EPs:
Clear Sky Relapse - 2010

Radio/Singles:
The Winnowing (2012)
Come to Me (2008)

Photos

Bio

Swallows is an Americana/rock band from Minneapolis, Minnesota that was formed in 2008 by former Thinland bandmates Jeff Crandall and Aaron Kerr, Tyson Allison (The Sleeper Pins, Gliss) and guitarist Frank Spencer. In October 2012, Swallows released our second full-length album, the roots-oriented "Witching & Divining." Swallows has also released: Clear Sky Relapse (EP, 2010), Dissonant Creatures (2009), and Songs for Strippers (and other professions) (2008).

Since its release, "Witching & Divining" has received strong media support in the Twin Cities and was in in rotation on over 160 college and public radio stations throughout the U.S. and Canada, including several weeks of charting in the CMJ and Earshot! top 30 on 15 stations.

Swallows’ current line-up features Jeff Crandall (guitars, vocals, keys, piano), Tyson Allison (guitars, vocals, keys, marimba, melodica, percussion), Aaron Kerr (cello, bass), Justin DeLeon (drums) and Mike Nordby (mandolin, percussion).