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SWIMM Plays Echoplex – Preps for SXSW Music 2016

For a Monday night, the Echoplex in Los Angeles was quite packed out. SWIMM, Florida-to-Los Angeles transplants as of 2015, followed Andy Clockwise, aptly thanking him for the blast-happy performance. It was SWIMM’s last night of their residency at the Echoplex, and the two-piece, now expanded to five performers, wrapped it in pure rock and roll style. Even some of the family were in attendance, including the proud mom of lead singer and guitarist, Chris Hess.


SWIMM Co-founder and friend of Hess since 10th grade, drummer Adam Winn, was going nuts on his kit throughout the show, multi-tasking with harp riffs during “Suddenly” from 2015’s Beverly Hells E.P., as bassist Hany Zayan grounded the group. The title track and “Topanga” have some obvious geographical influences that permeate from their new home town, as the E.P. overall shows a natural progression in sound and fluid style that first emerged on 2013’s Feel E.P., layering veils of psychedelic tones over raw guitar gyration.

Midway through the set, Winn passed around shots of Fireball whiskey, which Hess and the rest quickly slammed down. Thrown off momentarily as the alcohol began to dance slowly through his system, the singer took a short break to point out the elaborate display of artwork in their merch area, including the fake orgasm, “I’ll have what she’s having” scene from When Harry Met Sally along with a series of homemade SWIMM zines.

Each one designed in pure DIY style, color copied and stapled, featured hand drawings and thoughts put to words by Hess. Towards the end of Volume III is a tribute to Lou Reed, “From the first time I heard ‘Some Kind of Love’ I would never listen to music the same way. If that song didn’t exist my life would be different. Drastically I think.” He goes on to describe how he tapped that song as a way to impress a young lady love interest, and it worked. “Thanks Lou. And for everything else.”

In one of the interviews SWIMM have under the belt, Hess stated his dream venue gig to be Red Rocks, “Just look at it.” Yes, it is a sight to behold. It is live music heaven. At the rate these guys are going, they’ll make it to the majestical concert venue (although I don’t recommend downing whiskey shots before going on stage). Getting SWIMM’s music out to the hungry kids during their gigs at SXSW Music 2016 could just be the catalyst to get them up that red mountain.

If you’re in LA, SWIMM have another gig in Echo Park, this time upstairs at The Echo on Monday, January 25 with Good Graeff, The New Electric Sound, T.O.L.D (it’s free with RSVP via DoLA). If you’re headed to Austin for SXSW, make sure to add them to your party itinerary.


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