Richard Swift: The Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the fourth release from American singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Richard Swift. Celebrated for his lo-fi, experimental mélanges saluting genres from Doo-Wop to lush American Pop, Swift adds jaunty synthesizers and Motown soul to make Ocean his most danceable record to date. After touring the US with Cold War Kids, Wilco and Stereolab, Swift started recording The Atlantic Ocean in Wilco's Chicago loft on a vintage analog tape machine sold to him by Wilco's frontman Jeff Tweedy. With a methodical approach and help from engineer Chris Colbert (The Walkmen) and mulit-instrumentalist Casey Foubert (Sufjan Stevens, Crystal Skulls), Swift's vintage mixtures on Ocean are seamless and bright. A collaboration with producer Mark Ronson on track "Ballad of Old What's His Name" features the talents of Ryan Adams, Mark Ronson, Sean Lennon and Pat Sansone of Wilco, a strange pairing of musicians, producing beautiful results.
The Atlantic Ocean continues Swift's tradition of defying musical categorization while showcasing his signature wry, whimsical style. Title-track "The Atlantic Ocean" opens the album with bouncy synth-powered pop while orchestra swells blend with electric guitar solos on "The First Time." Ragtime horns parade on "Bat Coma Motown" and single "Lady Luck" brings the album to a close with Swift's signature croon hearkening serious 60s soul. With a balanced mix of dry, minimal rock and roll, and futuristic synthesizer stabs, Swift himself refers to the album's sound as "Prince sitting in on John Lennon's Plastic Ono sessions".