Nashville’s premier post-modern popsters return with a rich, luscious album of musically delectable, lyrically bittersweet gems. U.S.version features bonus remixes and Molly Felder’s delicate reading of the classic “Moon River.”
Like the month it’s named after, Swan Dive’s June is full of sunshine, color and warmth. With breezy melodies darting through lush arrangements, it’s pop music that sparkles with both the wonder of spring and the promise of summer.
"There’s a kind of upbeat feeling and optimism on this record," says songwriter/guitarist Bill DeMain. "Even on the melancholy songs, there’s always a glimmer of hope shining through."
Since forming in 1993, Swan Dive - the duo of DeMain and singing partner Molly Felder - have been connecting with fans both in their hometown of Nashville and in far-off Japan, where they’ve enjoyed much success - four top 10 singles, many television and radio appearances, videos on MTV and tours full of, as DeMain puts it, "Hard Day’s Night moments."
As they did on their self-titled U.S. debut for Compass (which won Best Pop Record in the 2000 Independent Music Awards), DeMain and Felder filter the sounds of their favorite music - The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Dusty Springfield, Harry Nilsson, bossa nova, ‘70s soul - into their own striking, immediately recognizable style. From the ultra-catchy Girl On A Wire (a #2 radio hit on Japan’s Cross-FM last summer, and also featured on a recent episode of Felicity) and the ebulliently romantic Truly, Madly, Deeply to the sensual, French-tinged Safe And Sound and delicate Augustine, June delivers more of the intoxicating blend of singing and songwriting that Swan Dive is known for.
"There was a lot of collaboration on this record," DeMain says of the songwriting process. I traveled to other cities for the sole purpose of co-writing, which was a lot of fun. I find it very freeing when I’m away from home and all the little demands of everyday life. I can really concentrate on writing." From London to New York to Los Angeles, he teamed up with top tunesmiths such as Marshall Crenshaw, Jill Sobule, Kelley Ryan, Boo Hewerdine and Gary Clark, and brought his song treasures back to Nashville.
Felder says, "I think one of the greatest experiences of making this album was being able to record songs written by Bill with some of the artists we’ve always admired - Marshall, Boo, Jill and Gary Clark from Danny Wilson. It meant so much, personally and professionally."
On June, DeMain and Felder continue their collaboration with ace producer Brad Jones (Jill Sobule, Cotton Mather, Richard Julian), a multi-instrumentalist and arranger who brings a wealth of creative ideas to the studio. "Brad has a great sense of adventure," says Felder, "and an amazing ability to know exactly what a song needs to bring it to life."
Originally released last summer in Japan, this is a newly remastered version of June, featuring two brand new songs plus two stunning remixes, done by Gary Clark.
With a sound that MOJO calls "an imaginative line in classic pop" and the Associated Press says is "sweet but mature, catchy but sophisticated," Swan Dive is prepared once again to brighten up the independent music scene. Step into June.