Although their first EP, “Extended Play,” is still hot off the presses, critics and fans have been quick to applaud New York City-based quartet Swear and Shake for their old-school, smoky, soulful vocals, taught harmonies, poignant lyrics and fun folk-pop.
Newsday praised the band, comparing them to indie darlings Mumford & Sons and Bon Iver. Brooklyn Belles described front lady Kari Spieler’s pipes as, “strong but sweet…a young June Carter Cash,” countered only by drummer Tom Elefante’s explosive percussion.
David Malachowski of the Daily Freeman made clear that Swear and Shake is more than fun sounds and pretty faces. “A haunting postcard from a faraway, warmer place, 'Bones,'an ode to love and loss is a highlight, Spieler’s moving, heartfelt delivery takes this to a higher place,” writes Malachowski. “Daring and direct, Swear and Shake points a finger at you, and you can’t help but respond. Well done.” Other reviewers were affected similarly by the EP’s final track, saying that with “harmonies guaranteed to give goosebumps, Swear and Shake do an expert job at bringing the mini record to a dramatic conclusion.”
Reviewer Mike Andronico probably captures the feel of Swear and Shake’s promise as a new band best, writing, “While still in their early 20s, McHeffey and Spieler exude the confidence and quirk of veteran songwriters. The music is warm and accessible, while the lyrics will stay with listeners long after the disc stops spinning. And while the front man and woman could each entertain on their own, Savage and Elefante provide a rhythmic spine that keeps each song standing tall. For a five-track EP of this quality, perhaps its one flaw is its brevity. Let's hope Swear and Shake extends their play to a full-length next time around.”
And he’s not alone. Frost Click called the band’s EP a “treat” and writes, “There's no denying the fact that Swear and Shake know how to make amazing sounds. The quartet has a knack for creating a wonderful balance of emotion, instruments, vocals and lyrics; making you want to listen more and more.”
Are you picking up what we’re throwing down? If you have yet to acquaint yourself with the slick stylings of Swear and Shake you can find their tracks and show listings atwww.swearanshake.com. They play all over Brooklyn and Manhattan and are a must see!
Written by Amber C. van Nattan
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