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Sunday, August 05, 2007


ModMusic: Catching up with Swing Out Sister

In 1987, Swing Out Sister was one of a wave of successful new acts fusing British pop, jazz, and soul. Sade had already led the way to global stardom two years before; after scoring worldwide with the singles "Breakout" and "Twilight World", however, Swing Out Sister's albums successively found less success (except in Japan, where their cocktail-lounge style has had more longevity, making their superstars their even today).

Though they haven't been a force in American music for almost two decades, I've been a dedicated fan through the years. Most of their 17 albums have been released in America on indie startup labels; a few, sadly, never made it to U.S. shores. And it's a shame. I've always felt that S.O.S. was the perfect antidote to what's wrong with pop music today: sophisticated, layered, hook-laden and accessible. The arrangements feature real instruments and real musicians (a rarity today) as well as a subversive sense of music history; you can hear the echoes of Mingus, Laura Nyro and Marvin Gaye in their songs, but there's also atmospheric drum-and-bass as well. Their new single, "Secret Love", will be released later this month; their new album, tentatively titled Even When Tonight Is Over, is scheduled for October.

Ultimately, though, Swing Out Sister makes happy music. They are my favorite summertime band. Here are some favorites, which I hope entice you to buy their records (many of which can be picked up cheap...such is the state of the world). Make your appletini, stretch out in the backyard, and enjoy.

Watch The Videos:
"Am I The Same Girl?", Swing Out Sister
"Notgonnachange", Swing Out Sister
"Now You're Not Here", Swing Out Sister
"Somewhere in the World", Swing Out Sister
"Forever Blue", Swing Out Sister
"Where in the World", Swing Out Sister
"Breakout (A Horney Version)", from Another Non-Stop Sister (1989)
"Am I The Same Girl?", from Get In Touch With Yourself (1992)
"We Could Make It Happen", from Shapes and Patterns (1997)
"Who's Been Sleeping", from Filth and Dreams (1999)
"Happy Ending", from Where Our Love Grows (2004)
Visit: Official Site, MySpace
Then Pre-Order: Secret Love, Swing Out Sister

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