Richard Swift Richard Swift as Onasis

Richard Swift Richard Swift as Onasis
Richard Swift is one confusing dude. After exploring the inner reaches of electronic music with Instruments of Science & Technology, the fuzzyheaded songwriter has again done a complete about-face. But this time, instead of going all Eno on us, he’s warped back to the distant ’50s and taken on the ghosts of rock’n’roll past for his double EP, Onasis. With Link Wray as his muse, Swift dredges up the bluesy, garage-rockin’ stomps that are rich, warm and, above all, devoid of any ones and zeros. Mingled with the crunchy, overdriven aesthetic are booming, dub-like echo and tangled organs tones, often yielding a twisted sort of island vibe. But only occasionally does Swift step up to the mic, and when he does, a gravely, roughed-up voice emerges, hollering garbled words shrouded in distortion. For some fans wanting Swift to return to his old folk pop balladry, Onasis will come as a frustrating experience. But for those open to Swift’s recent genre jumping routine, they will find some stellar old-timey songs that put some needed soul back into rock’n’roll. (Secretly Canadian)