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June 20, 2024

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Indigo Swing
All Aboard! (Time Bomb Recordings)

By: Alex Steininger

With swing music making a comeback, in terms of popularity and mass acceptance, Indigo Swing remains one of the leaders of the pack. Forming in 1994, in San Francisco, ever since they've taken their show on the road and worked along side other modern swing bands to keep the resurgence growing and growing. Previously self-releasing all their material, their new album finds them on Time Bomb Recordings, distributed by BMG. With a strong label behind them, and a new fourteen track disc to carry them, they'll be making their move swiftly.

From the opening piano notes of "Indigo Swing," you know what you are about to hear is going to be good. The combination of percussion, piano, and horns gets you right from the get go, and when the vocals come in, you instantly start dancing. True to the original swing movement, they keep their music soft and moving, slow enough to get a good dance going with that loved one, and fast enough to get you working. The vocals are very smooth, about as smooth as you can get them, almost as if they were built for swing music. The horns are what give the song a shot of energy, as they blast into the song you start picking the dance up a notch and sweat to the beat. "How Lucky" is romantic all around, from the lyrics to the music. "I've never made a load of dough, I've never been to a Broadway show, but she thinks I'm the original Romeo. How lucky can one guy be?" While you're thinking about the words, you can't help but want to get your special someone and start dancing, staring into each other's eyes and thinking that the song is personally meant for you two. Of course, there is more than lyrics going on for the song. The music is just as romantic, giving you the slow dance opportunity to drive the words home with your special someone. "Money," quite possibly the best track on this disc, is a jazz-swing number that you can just imagine in a movie while a club full of dancers slip down some martinis and dance the night away. Smoky and steamy, this number has the flavor and passion that sums up what both life and love are about...good times, regrets, fun, and more fun! "Regular Joe," just the title alone, sums up what this whole disc is about. Songs about regular guys who stumble upon to that beautiful someone who makes their life living, good times, and the good things that happen to regular people. Even when you think life isn't going to go your way, because you're nobody special, just keep living life day by day and you'll come across your share of good things. Covering Willie Dixon's "Violent Love," they take a song that meant something totally different when it was written and bring it to our modern society, giving it a very unusual contrast. With the chorus stating, "I want to make violent love with you," the soft, jazzy feel of the number gives the song a real romantic essence. Yet, in our current society 'violent love' means something totally different than what it did when Mr. Dixon wrote this song. The first time I heard this number it instantly grabbed my attention. Call me a product of our current society, but as I've said, the contrast just floored me. As I listened, I understood, but also found humor in the modern translation this song just might represent for some. Closing out with "Memory Of You," they finish the disc out with a very slow, jazz-oriented swing number. Where as on previous tracks the vocals were a strong part of the song, but not the whole song, this number relies greatly on the vocals for its push. The piano also makes a tremendous impact on the song, as its soft notes add a lot more emotion and love to the mix. Working with the vocals, together they have no problem serving up a number that is meant for lovers only. A slow dance number right down to the core, this will either make you cry (if you don't have a special someone), or it will make you grab that special someone and show them how much you love them.

Indigo Swing has come along way from 1994, paying their dues on countless road trips, and earning every bit of success that they are currently receiving. Helping to keep the swing movement alive, along with many other bands, they truly are one of the greatest modern swing bands. This disc proves it, with ease. Swing music is known as a romantic language, and one listen to this disc will drill that theory home. Very romantic, this disc is love song after love song. I'll give it an A+.

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