Swan Dive, Popcorn and a Mama Who Loves You Too

swan-dive-popcornSwan Dive
Popcorn and a Mama Who Loves Me Too
(Victor Entertainment)

Like a post-rock Carpenters, Swan Dive play jazzy lounge music that takes classic pop forms and stretches their wings with horns, soft keys, vibes and plenty of “ooh-la-la” vocals. Their new release for the Japanese label Victor Entertainment, Popcorn and a Mama Who Loves Me Too, offers twelve tracks that indulge in Bacharach-esque swing.

The first single, “Get Back Together,” which has already charted in Japan, opens the record with bubbly guitars and a breathy female vocal. The song offers a groovy response to Al Green’s classic plea of “Let’s stay together.” Swan Dive capture the feel of Green’s tune but update the mood.

“We Are Two” starts with a rush. Its synth sounds quietly recall Esquivel-revivalists Stereolab, but the vocals are classic American pop. As on most tracks, Bill DeMain sings behind Molly Felder, giving her voice a little boost during the chorus. Even when their words are down, the vocals lift the songs up.

The vocals are sweet but the instrumentation is perfect. Sparse and tasteful, the sound is roomy enough to notice the differing timbres of the cymbals. This is a great record for lazy Sunday afternoons or late vodka tonic evenings.

[Review for All the Rage.]