Richard Swift


SXSW Records

Richard Swift

The Atlantic Ocean (Secretly Canadian)

The joy of Richard Swift isn't necessarily his uncanny knack for combining joyful harmonies with smartass, often-cynical lyrics. It's not his warble or his multilayered all-American songs. It's just that the man knows no limits. Over four albums, the Oregonian's skipped through Tin Pan Alley, melancholic chants, druggy garage rock, and now crystalline, piano-driven pop run through an analog prism of doo-wop. The contrast of Moog buzz and the wordsmith's featherlight touch reaches full tilt with "Hallelujah, Goodnight!" but takes a sharp left with the equally charismatic "Bat Coma Motown," where banjo and trumpet hug it out while dancing the Temptation Walk. "R.I.P." and "A Song for Milton Feher" beg for choreography and top hats, but the bookends – the ecstatic titular opener and closer "Lady Luck" – personify reinvention from hands-in-the-air, praise-Jesus revelation to on-your-knees, please-baby-please devotion. (Thu., Mohawk Patio, 8pm.)


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Richard Swift

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