I must like male/female duos. Y’all remember when I reviewed the Civil Wars album last year? Well, allow me to introduce you to Johnnyswim, a married couple who merged their ridiculous gifting into a super power. It would be like if Ironman and The Flash had a baby that could stop nuclear warheads and it was REAL LIFE! Except these two make music, not military defense weapons.
Either way, this duo’s style is like singer-songwriter acoustic soul with elements of R&B and even country! Sorry if that’s confusing. Clearly it means you need to just go listen for yourself. Abner (the male half) has a velvety smooth connection to power notes complimented if not even surpassed by his wife Amanda’s textured soulful subtlety that gives just enough to leave you wanting more. Both of these freakishly talented folks have crooner resonances that will take you back in time while being somehow ahead of their own. Amazing blend. Beautiful harmonies. Incredibly unique styling. And the songwriting…oh the songwriting…
Take their first single, “Annie”. The song opens with the gorgeous imagery– “the carpet still holds/the shape of your feat/from the last time I saw you/when you walked away from me.” I love this. I’m a sucker for a finely crafted and tangible song lyric.
The song “Adelina” makes me cry. Secret: it’s about his mother and he sings in Spanish to her at the end (he is Cuban). *Swoon*. This song is a great example of how Abner and Amanda trade off lead and harmonies. They always complement each other and never compete. It’s like you can hear them cheering each other on in their selfless and tasteful ad libs. If you have ever had a conversation with me about style, you know my biggest pet peeve in artists is rampant self-indulgence. What a breath of fresh air these two are. They’ve GOT IT, to be sure. But they don’t flaunt it.
In a snapshot: Paris in June needs to be on the next major rom-com
soundtrack during the pensive romantic memory montage scene. Home makes me
want to do a jig. And I don’t jig. And Heartbeats will stir up something in you of mysterious anticipation to do something great in life and get off your couch.
Oh, did I mention they are also the nicest people ever (I know them! Insert Elf reference) and they are currently GIVING AWAY this spectacular record on their website at www.johnnyswim.com?
You should go there now. If you don’t I will only assume you hate good music. You may also hate puppies and I’ll pray for you.
To book a lesson with Shelby Rollins, contact [email protected] or 615-866-1099.