Richard Swift: The Novelist/Walking Without Effort

 |   |  <1 min read

Richard Swift: Looking Back I Should Have Been Home More
Richard Swift: The Novelist/Walking Without Effort

This utterly engrossing double disc brings together Californian Swift's two previously released (but rare) albums from a couple of years ago which were made up of singles he drip-fed over the years.

This reissue announces to the wider world (and me, I'd never heard of him) his particular, quiet genius.

At times his easy-on-the-ear ballads have a sub-Bacharach quality, in other places he evokes hip 60s soundtracks or the gentle layering of vocals like Brian Wilson, and sometimes he reminds me of the best of Harry Nilsson. (I don't get the Randy Newman reference that many are making, Swift is sweeter than that.)

In other places imagine Beck in lo-fi ballad mode, or a California-tanned Tom Waits if he'd never smoked and drank. And that's a nice Hawaiian feel in there, isn't it?

But this wonderful, sweet assortment always sounds coherent, even when he conjures up an oldtime music hall feel in the background, or takes you back to the singer-songwriter period of the early 70s.

Beautifully sensitive arrangements and songs which wrap themselves around you. A rare one.

If you buy nothing else this month . . .


Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Darren Watson: Introducing Darren Watson (Beluga)

Darren Watson: Introducing Darren Watson (Beluga)

After the fame/notoriety which came with his pre-election Planet Key song and video (see here), Wellington singer-guitarist and long-running bluesman Darren Watson reveals further humour in this... > Read more

Benjamin Booker: Benjamin Booker (Rough Trade)

Benjamin Booker: Benjamin Booker (Rough Trade)

Although he had some considerable advance hype, this New Orleans-based punk-edged rocker lives up to the claims being made on this debut album, simply by delivering gutsy rock'n'roll with a tight... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Nina Simone: Cottage For Sale (1957)

Nina Simone: Cottage For Sale (1957)

At the very end of the Keith Richards' doco project about Chuck Berry, Hail! Hail! Rock and Roll, we see Chuck sitting quietly with his electric guitar (pianist Johnnie Johnson mostly off camera,... > Read more

BIEBERMANIA!, a film by THOMAS GIBSON

BIEBERMANIA!, a film by THOMAS GIBSON

In a cover which looks about as far from exciting as that exclamation mark wants us to believe this is, comes yet another unauthorised biography -- this from a director of E! Hollywood True Story... > Read more