The Secret Swell

The Secret Swell

 Memphis, Tennessee, USA


The Secret Swell, a pop-experimental band from Memphis, Tennessee, is sending ripples of intrigue throughout the Memphis music community. Combining the swagger of big band, organics of folk, the passion of talk music and the glimmer of soft electro-pop, the Swell’s influences come together seamlessly to create a colorful and imaginative sonic world.

Currently the writer of the Swell, who’s actual name is anonymous (though she temporarily calls herself Roselyn Bear) is busy at work finishing the band’s self-titled debut album. The project is a loose-leafed story, constructed thematically as a broadway production that has craftily inserted itself into the mainstream music industry.

While the project is in the wings, the Secret Swell can be found playing collegiate stages and coffee houses in the Memphis area, but don’t expect to unveil their secret. The band’s members, loyal to their name, are more of a secret society than a band, oftentimes changing the number of it’s members and rotating different instrumentalists in during the course of a show, and use face paint, bright lights, and different aliases to keep their privacy. “The idea of the album is to let the characters of the story do all the talking,” says Roselyn. “I never wanted to be a rockstar anyways..too many continental breakfasts.”

Despite the Secret Swell’s extreme social ambiguity, they more than manage to maintain their sense of je ne sais quoi. The project itself is built upon the mystique it’s name reflects. “God was passing notes to me in class, and one day the note just said Secret Swell. So I did what every dutiful citizen would do... I googled it. When I did I found an old hymnbook published in 1840. It was written by a man I tragically fell in love with (I have a habit of falling in love with men than don’t exist.) He had written a hymn called Evening Aspirations, talking about a ‘secret swell of grateful joy’. Sam Dobell is the only man that knows me inside and out.”

The mystery embedded into the personality of the band is part of the draw for the Swell. Interwoven into it’s aesthetic is a sort of rough and tumble romanticism. It’s not hard to see the influences of the group; from Bob Dylan to Passion Pit, the Beatles to Bon Iver, and Ella Fitzgerald to Coldplay, the Swell gently mashes generations and musical temperaments together into an eloquent and haunting chronicle of human experience. Eventually, the Secret Swell plans to continue this series of stories. This work is the merely the first installment of a much grander adventure.

If you’d like keep up with the project, you can find them on If you’d like to contact us our email is Thank you and we hope to hear from you soon.



Written By: Roselyn Bear

We were made of Sunday afternoons,
Of strong perfume, of wine, and lazy day cartoons.
In exchange for you, I’d given up what I knew
But intelligence will never trump the simple truth.

Well the honesty, I saw it hit the floor
It collapsed here on the inside, for sure
and with these big lights,
and all these little people,

Oh the stars will burn our hands.
The stars will burn our hands.
I was young, but only at the start.

I gave my heart and hoped you’d give me yours,
20 years a girl still forces through these doors.
What a selfish way to ask for what I want,
Should I lock myself away from all the things I’m not?

Guess love is something I don’t understand.
How the sun can scorch our skin,
And all the desert sand.
?But without this light,
We are very little people.

And the stars will burn our hands.
And the stars will burn our hands.
I was young, but only at the start.

Well it’s 3 AM and morning reappears,
With all the things you left unsaid stuck in my ears.
Have you always gotten by on time alone,
And the hope that you can save yourself if things go wrong?

By candlelight we are the shining fools,
And instead of lighting darkness only burn these rooms.
But without this light,
We are very little people.

Oh the stars will burn our hands,
And the stars will burn our hands,
I was young but only at the start.
I was young, but only at the heart.