The Swongos – Curious Tourist

The Swongos reached out to me and asked if I would like to do a review of their upcoming, debut, full length Album: Curious Tourist, and I was elated at the opportunity! They were kind enough to offer me a digital download, and I have had it on repeat now for a few weeks!

If you haven’t yet heard of The Swongos, that’s not all together surprising. The Midwestern humility runs deep with this burgeoning three piece instrumental Surf band, hailing from the St. Croix river valley, on the Minnesota/Wisconsin border. But I am here to tell you, without a doubt, that you are about to hear a lot more from this trio, because the only thing that trumps their humble nature is their musical excellence – and maybe their sense of fun.

“In addition to surf music, they have many styles of music such as Latin, Exotica, Indie Rock, and Jazz sprinkled in their sound. The Swongos are influenced by traditional surf music like Dick Dale and the Ventures, but also groups such as the Pixies and Los Cubanos Positizos.” This statement pretty well defines what you are getting into with Curious Tourist, which feels like the best possible introduction to The Swongos, and their deep experimentation with the aforementioned genres. Song titles such as “Shayla Shadows”, “Weezies Dream”, and “Zombie Duck Dive” also perfectly elude to their sense of fun.

Check out this video from their Facebook page for a sampling of their live music.

Cover art by Daniella Attinella

The first title on this track, “Mr. Poles Revenge” is a three and a half minute story in itself, but sets the stage nicely with chill rythmics – crescendoing to full on rock, inviting you to come along for an exciting journey. From there, the album perfectly parses out an array of exotic vibes, surf soul sound, and even some fun experimental stuff. Songs like Belted Galloway, Julie Ann’s Dance, and Weezies Dream, invite you to, close your eyes and fade into the melodic guitar riffs, while Cardboard Creature, Box Elder Bug, and Grab The Loot, light up with the old school surf rock and classic spy genre sounds. Then, Zombie Duck Dive showcases The Swongos real sweet spot, with an eight and half minute freeform jam, that includes synth, sax, and an array of clever experimental sounds, but never once loses it’s perfectly polished sensibility. In fact, every detail – every note of this album feels deeply considered and intentional. It’s not entirely clear who this Curious Tourist is, but one thing is sure, his enigmatic presence is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Whether you’re looking for a new addition to your exotic playlist to kick back with a mai tai, or just a perfect jam to ease your commute, I can’t recommend Curious Tourist enough. But, by all means, don’t just take my word for it – –

Pick up Curious Tourist – April 23rd 2022! You can get it through most preferred digital sources, bandcamp, and also be sure to check out these upcoming shows – with a special emphasis on their album release party, where I understand they plan to have available a special vinyl edition!

  • River Siren Brewing Company 225 Main St N, Stillwater, MN 55082 SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2022 AT 6– 9 PM
  • The Lakely-The Oxbow Hotel 516 Galloway Street , Eau Claire, WI 54703 FRIDAY, MARCH 25TH, 2022 AT 8:30- 11:30 pm
  • Chateau St. Croix Winery 1998 WI-87, St Croix Falls, WI 54024 SATURDAY, APRIL 23RD, 2022 AT 5-8 Album Release Show ….wsp Black Widows

**Make sure you follow them on social media for future show updates: FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM