Published Jan 27, 2009Like it or not, Richard Swift is an increasingly unpredictable guy. Since his 2007 breakthough album, Dressed Up for the Letdown, he's gone from singer-songwriter pop to full-on electronic to '50s-inspired garage rock, causing confusion at every turn but leaving behind a pile of great tunes in the process.
Well, it appears that this sonic shape-shifting routine isn't going anywhere soon, or at least not for his next full-length, Atlantic Ocean. Described as "Prince sitting in on John Lennon's Plastic Ono sessions," Swift's latest again finds him jumping genres, and this time he's apparently emerged as some warped Motown soul man, making Atlantic Oceans "his most danceable record to date," according to Secretly Canadian. And from hearing the new souled-out, falsetto-sporting track "Lady Luck," it appears the label isn't exaggerating.
To accomplish his latest transformation, Swift recorded Oceans in Wilco's Chicago loft studio on a vintage analog tape machine that he apparently bought off Wilco front-man Jeff Tweedy. He also brought along engineer Chris Colbert (the Walkmen) and multi-instrumentalist Casey Foubert (Sufjan Stevens, Crystal Skulls) for these recordings, as well as some very high-profile musicals buds. For the track "Ballad of Old What's His Name," for example, UK super-producer Mark Ronson joined Swift in the studio, along with Ryan Adams, Pat Sansone of Wilco and John's Lennon's youngest, Sean Lennon. By the looks of things though, this is the only track supporting this unlikely supergroup.
There's no sign of any live dates yet in support of Atlantic Oceans but the album is due out via Secretly Canadian on April 7 with this tracklisting attached:
1. "The Atlantic Ocean"
2. "The Original Thought"
3. "Ballad of Old What's His Name"
5. "Already Gone"
6. "Hallelujah, Goodnight!"
7. "The First Time"
8. "Bat Coma Motown"
9. "The End of an Age"
10. "A Song For Milton Feher"
11. "Lady Luck"
Richard Swift "Knee-high Boogie Blues"