Swing is a genre that’s been around since the beginning of recorded music. It started off as a two-beat drum pattern led by brass instruments, and is closely related to the evolution of jazz.

Though popular figures like Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong reinvented swing to keep the jitterbug alive on the dance floor, the style isn’t as prevalent as it used to be. Oakland outfit Van Goat is trying to change this with their own unique spin on swing.

The group’s songs parallel the tunes you’d hear on an old jukebox, and they’re bringing that brand of music to the Bay Area venues with a string of upcoming shows.

Formerly Bear Lincoln, the five-member band produces all funky swing sounds with a mix of traditional instruments. Among them, are clarinets, trombones, and pineapples. Yes, pineapples.

“I play a real pineapple as a musical instrument,” says their keyboard player Ben Einstein. “I hooked it in through my keyboard, so it acts as a MIDI controller. When I touch it, it makes a sound.”

Van Goat released a new single today. “I Live in a Bubble” is a song that brings in raspy vocals and an electric guitar from lead singer Aidan Ward. The band keeps the two-beat percussion that makes you want to dance all night, while layering it with punk sounds reminiscent of their past work.

“A dog lives in its house – it defends it, and it barks, and it fights anything that comes through it,” says singer/lyricist Aidan Ward about the single. “We all tend to react this way to other people who are coming into our lives and going against what’s the most comfortable and accommodating to our bubbles.”

It’s goofy, danceable, and breathes new life into the timeless sound of swing. Click here to grab tickets to any of their upcoming shows.

Van Goat, The Green Door, Space Banquet
Hemlock Tavern
April 28 2018
8:30pm, $10