Pure pop - a phrase that possibly gets attached to artists a little too easily these days…. but when it comes to pure exquisitely crafted pop - now that's a different matter. 'June' is the new Swan Dive album. Exquisite really is the best word for it.
Swan Dive are Bill DeMain and Molly Felder. They met in Tower Records in Nashville, late 1993. Both of them were browsing in the vicinity of the Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 CDs. Since Bill wasn't accustomed to seeing anyone under the age of 60 in this section, he figured he'd found a kindred spirit. They starting talking music, became fast friends and Swan Dive was formed. 'June' is their fourth album, but unless you've been in Japan recently, you may not know about them yet. Despite coming from Music City USA, Swan Dive do not have a deal in their own country, but are signed to V2 Japan, where they have enjoyed stellar success, three Top 10 singles, many television and radio appearances, videos on MTV and, as Bill puts it, 'tours full of "Hard Day's Night" moments'. When V2 inexplicably declined to release their records in the States or Europe, Haven Records, the label run by songwriter Boo Hewerdine, fell in love with the songs and decided to release the record for the UK.
And it's songs we're talking about here. Perfectly crafted, hip and hitworthy, the sort of songs you'd love to be drifting out of the radio all of the time. Reaching deep into a grab bag of influences - The Beatles, Bacharach & David, The Beach Boys, Nat King Cole, Francoise Hardy and Rickie Lee Jones, Antonio Carlos Jobim and Jimmy Webb, Dionne Warwick, Philly Soul and 60's movie soundtracks…. the twosome pull out song after wonderful song. "We try to capture everything we love about pop music in our songs," says Bill, "from strong melodies and intelligent lyrics to a sense of playfulness and adventure in the arrangements. But the most important thing is to connect emotionally".
A former editor at Performing Songwriter Magazine, and contributor to Mojo Magazine here in the UK, Bill DeMain learned a lot from the many artists he has interviewed "Getting to discuss the creative process with all these fantastic writers has definitely helped me broaden my own palette," he says, and on 'June', there are some great songwriting collaborations with Marshall Crenshaw, Jill Sobule, Boo Hewerdine and Gary Clark. Swan Dive's shimmering sound was produced by Brad Jones (Cotton Mather, Imperial Drag, Jill Sobule), and the Haven release of 'June' includes a new extra track "Automatically Sunshine".
Swan Dive - the two words together offer the perfect description of the musical depths of Swan Dive: easy, graceful, heartbreaking, shy, beautiful and captivating. They've been a secret far too long.