MusicRecord Reviews

Dana Swimmer: Glacier Review

(Independent Release) Dana Swimmer’s sophomore album finds the band sticking to its danceable, Southern-fried indie-rock charm, but with improved fidelity and an expanded sonic palette. Singer and guitarist Jack Blauvelt channels his romantic and existential grief into deceptively feel-good tunes; even when the lyrics are confused or dejected, the music still grooves.

Relationship worries carry standout tracks “Oh My Head,” “Kids and a Mortgage” and “Happy Too.” The latter two bleed together as starry, atmospheric guitar work makes way for a sudden chord strum and a rolling floor tom. Blauvelt’s bittersweet emotional deflation grows on “Happy Too,” as the refrain, “Well, I’m happy/ if you’re happy too” follows a series of personal questions and concessions; his sister Maggie Blauvelt’s gentle vocals and drummer Parker Lusk’s snare-kick-snare-kick rhythm carry the track out, its sense of resignation coated in a dense wall of sound. Closer “Your Parts” builds steadily before fading out with a tremolo guitar line, echoing the latent sentiment that some issues don’t reach immediate closure and must be worked out in time.

Glacier is a robust record, a big step forward for the band that demonstrates its ability to turn woe into wonder. With equal emphasis on guitar textures and hooks, Glacier finds Dana Swimmer confidently coming into its own.