As someone living in Athens and happily soaking up all the music that this Classic City has to offer, I can say one thing without hesitation: Athens band Dana Swimmer makes me proud to be here. Their new album, Veloce, is an eccentric intermingling of rock n’ roll sounds that everyone and their mother adores – think the Black Keys – and personal touches throughout that remind you that this talented band is human and, well, undeniably Southern.
An example? At the end of the album’s second and most popular track, “Fairground Girl”, the band can be heard exclaiming such self-deprecating comments as, “That was awful. That was terrible!” These kinds of witty, sarcasm-imbued statements throughout the album harshly juxtapose what we’re thinking: “Wow, this song is AMAZING.” Speaking of “Fairground Girl”, we’re not surprised this song is so popular. It combines upbeat, pep-in-your-step instrumentals with a very Devendra Banhart-esque, crooning voice. It’s safe to say we can’t get enough.
And though the whole album is worthy of some serious Athens pride, the best track has got to be “I’m Still Your Man”. It’s slow, it’s simple, it’s beautiful – a love song to compete with the greats. The tune really peaks at the chorus when some very whimsical female vocals are introduced, that later morph into entirely fitting background vocals.
Yet another endearing feature of the album, the 29-second instrumental “Tilda”, brings us to the album’s last two songs. And, have no fear, Dana Swimmer is clearly not the type of band to haphazardly stick a few songs on the end of an album to kill time – these last tracks are some of the band’s best. “Mother Nature” is decidedly hard and fast, reminiscent of the Eagles of Death Metal or the Strokes. The album ends on a bit of a lighter note with “Signs of Symmetry”, a playful, upbeat tune, mixing in a few retro ooh and aahs for good measure.
So, are you dying to be an Athenian yet?
Kate Foster is a hodgepodge of seemingly unrelated titles: writer. Blogger. Beauty and fashion junkie. Cat devotee. Art history buff. Harry Potter nerd. Cheesy 90's television fan. Sometimes-gamer. Seasonal sculptor. Mostly she’s a music enthusiast. While her heart and soul belong to 50's and 60's crooners like Etta James, Sam Cooke and Elvis Presley, one shouldn’t be surprised to find her listening to Lady Gaga or Jay-Z. Most days, though, she’s in an indie-punk mood somewhere in between - she counts the Pixies, the White Stripes, M83, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs as a few of her favorites. And while you’ll typically see her bobbing her head calmly at concerts, occasionally she pulls out all the stops for bands like the Black Lips. She treasures her bruises like a child. After graduating from the University of Georgia with degrees in Journalism and Art History, Kate aspires to move to New York City. There, she hopes to continue to write. She also plans on pretending to understand the art at MoMA and stuffing her face with cronuts and one dollar pizza. Kate’s heroes range from Oscar de la Renta and Mindy Kaling to Ernest Hemingway and Rupert Giles. She practically inhales iced coffee on a daily basis. Her favorite color is yellow, and like Buddy the Elf, she considers candy a major food group. She has dreams almost every night involving the coolest architecture and interior design, and has no idea what it means. Seriously, what does that mean?!