Get In Line for Swansgate’s Becoming Someone LP Now

By Deuce

Swansgate really, truly has a lot going on with its forthcoming album Becoming Someone, which is set to takeover all major platforms on April 29.

For starters, this is a true LP—none of that seven-track stuff is going on here. The gang has put together a true 12-cut collection of songs imbued with that distinctive quality of seemingly getting better the longer the album is played.

Plus, after listening to just one of these tunes you’d swear this was at least a five—if not six or seven—member band. The arrangements are that ornate, the music is so layered, and the melding of acoustics with electronic instruments is so complete, it seems like numerous humans had to be involved in creating it.

However, the artwork for the release only shows three gents: Gabe and Michael McKinney on the bass and guitar, respectively, while Stu Draughn mans everything else from the vocals to the keys, guitar, samples, drum programming, and… well, you get the point.

Speaking of the vocals, though, Draughn’s got an easygoing, laidback style that still conveys the point with a tenor that’s not afraid of silky falsettos (which he evinces on “Lost in the Sun”), yet which mostly rides the rhythms coolly with a penchant for details. Check the style he kicks on “Nighttime Wades”, which is replete with a palatable melody and the deepest, darkest chords that were seemingly meant for riding out to the beach, the full moon glimmering across the opal waves.

Most of the cuts, however, are characterized by a musicianship so profound that the vocals seem merely an afterthought—or perhaps the perfect accessory for what’s already a bangin’ outfit, to mix metaphors. The perfection on “Lust For Love”, for example, is simply riveting, almost assuredly played live, with one track grooving on sixteenths while the other does so on eighths. Plus Draughn’s melody is on point again, so much so that he doesn’t need to do anything else during the hook but seemingly ad-lib a mellifluous assemblage of high notes, all of which hit home.

Other times the drumming is so deliberate and accentuated with the right blending of programming and live playing that all it takes is a relatively simple keyboard riff on top to send you soaring—as “Why Need Someone?” unequivocally proves. Yup, these musicians know what they’re doing, and are adept at writing and recording songs.  

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