Oakland’s Swanifant has been around in one incarnation or another for a few years now, but they have yet to put out a debut album.
That’s not likely to change until next year, it looks like. Perhaps that’s for the best, because in its lifespan Swanifant has gone through quite the stylistic evolution and has recently coalesced into a really interesting blend of indie rock, danceable beats, and experimental noise.
They’ve just released two new singles to prove it:
“Open” to me sounds like what might happen if In A Priest-Driven Ambulance-era Flaming Lips were to collaborate on an album with TV on the Radio, while “Tassels” combines atmospheric synth sounds with a steady, handclap-heavy beat.
I had a chat with Swanifant’s Danny Echevarria about the band’s evolving sound and the prospects for a Swanifant album. Check it out after the jump.
Mike G.: Tell me about the album you’re working on.
Danny Echevarria: The album we’re working on is, in a sense, the culmination of maybe 4 years of work. We’ve been through a number of lineup changes over the time we’ve lived in the Bay Area (after moving up from Santa Cruz), and some of these songs will have been recorded 3 or 4 times, with different arrangements in each iteration, by the time the album versions are completed.
MG: How did you arrive at the Swanifant sound after such a long evolution?
DE: The catalytic moment for solidifying our sound (the dance-psych thing we’re doing now) was our former drummer, Ryan, leaving for a 4-month tour with his other band, Battlehooch. We realized then that we couldn’t be reliant on a drummer who was so committed to another band, and we decided to start working with programmed drums then. Ryan continues to contribute to the band, mostly in a recorded setting, on a number of instruments including samplers/synths, live drums, and vocals.
MG: Where are you recording it?
DE: We have invested a huge amount of time and (especially) money over the last couple years building up our own recording setup. We’ve been doing the tracking and mixing ourselves (with JaMile, our synth player/drum machine programmer taking the lead engineer position), and sent these two tracks to Timothy Stollenwerk (Stereophonic Mastering) for mastering. Our plan is to release a full-length late in 2013, leaving a trail of singles, remixes, and mix-tapes along the way.