Folklore out today – Unmade LIVE video!

Ladies and gentlemen, it's here! You can grab your digital copy of Folklore from iTunes right now. If you're in the UK and want to get your hands on a CD, we'll be selling the first batch at our three launch shows next week, in Manchester (29th), London (30th) and Buxton (31st). As for the rest of the world, we're working on setting up physical sales via Amazon, so watch this space. We're very proud of this album and we hope you enjoy listening to it as much as we've loved making it.

To celebrate the release, here's a live video of Unmade, recorded in session at The Yard Theatre in east London. Thanks to the brilliant folks at The Hideout for their gorgeous video work, and to Hugh Walker for recording and mixing the sound.

Pre-order your download of Folklore – and full tracklisting!

Folklore is now available to pre-order in digital form! Head over to Amazon or iTunes  and hit "pre-order" to hear the album as soon as it's released on 24 March. Pre-orders really help us to make a splash online too, so reserve your copy today!

And here is the full track listing for the album... we can't wait for you to hear all 12 of these beauties!

  1. The Undutiful Daughter (feat. Twelfth Day) – UK
  2. Lovers’ Desire – Afghanistan
  3. Bonas Dies, Comare – Sardinia
  4. Ili-Ili Tulog Anay – Philippines
  5. Unmade – Original
  6. Nem Às Paredes Confesso – Portugal
  7. Mo Li Hua – China
  8. Bučimiš (feat. Trichy Sankaran) – Bulgaria/India
  9. Nochen’ka – Russia
  10. Malaika – Tanzania/Kenya
  11. Sinä Täydennät Minut – Original
  12. Hard Times Come Again No More – USA

Folklore! New track Unmade, and UK launch gigs

Our album Folklore comes out this month! We're so excited to share some music with you ahead of the release on 24 March and our UK launch gigs in Manchester (29th), London (30th) and Buxton (31st). Hit up those links for your tickets!

The album is a diverse collection of music from all around the world, from the USA to Afghanistan, Portugal to the Philippines. We've loved delving into unfamiliar musical languages to find the melodies and stories that spoke loudest to us. Along the way we've been struck by the universal themes we found – birth, death, love, adversity and hope. And in the year since we embarked on this project, world events have made it seem particularly timely. The idea that our common humanity defines us more than the country we call home – this is more important to us than ever.

Although most of the album is made up of traditional music, we wanted to include some folk-flavoured originals too. Unmade was written by Ed and features a gorgeous lead vocal from Jon. The old-world intimacy of the handwritten letter was the starting point for the song, which speaks to a timeless worry – that a relationship might be just a few ill-chosen words away from ending. Our co-producer Nick Girard and mixer Jon Cotton did a fantastic job juggling the different elements of this track, with hints to Celtic folk and bluegrass as well as some backwards tape loops finding their way into a contemporary sound world. Enjoy!

Image credit: The Swingles

Image credit: The Swingles

Lyrics:

I laboured long to write my love a letter
In gloom of night it sped through silent streets
But something in those words I chose upset her
Now all I have are crumpled sheets

Unmade, unmade by this rough hand
In lines that can't be blotted
The bonds I thought I made so fast
So fast became unknotted

I waste each night with hours of wakeful turning
And turning over all I wish I'd said
The shame that lingers keeps my blushes burning
With crumpled sheets upon the bed

Unmade, unmade, this world we built
All swathed in down and cotton
The pillow holds her head's fair mould
Once gone, not soon forgotten
Once gone, not soon forgotten

The Swingles sign with IMG Artists

We are delighted to announce that The Swingles have signed with IMG Artists as our worldwide booking agents. As we begin a new year, we are thrilled to have IMG on board to help us reach new audiences and realise the creative projects we are cooking up for 2016. It has been a pleasure to work with IMG’s New York office over the last year, and they have put together a packed tour of the US for us this spring. We can’t wait to build on that relationship as part of their global roster, and look forward to concerts in Europe, Asia and beyond.

For information about upcoming tour dates, see our shows page.

To our US fans: cancelled holiday shows

We are devastated that following major delays by US immigration in processing our visas, we have been forced to cancel our tour of the US East Coast. We were so looking forward to this trip and bringing our new holiday music to the States, and it has been beyond frustrating to be stuck in London over the past few days, bags packed and ready to go, at the mercy of processes outside our control. We held off cancelling the tour outright for as long as possible in the hope that we’d be able to make at least some dates; it is now clear that this won’t be possible. More than anything else, we are so sad to be letting down our fans in Atlanta, Raleigh, D.C., New York, Clinton and Pelham, and the promoters who worked so hard to make the shows possible in the first place. If you were planning to attend and would like information about refunds, please contact the concert venues directly; for our part, we are doing everything we can to reschedule all postponed shows for our next full US tour in the spring. Sending all our love and best wishes for the holidays – The Swingles x

 

Yule Songs vol. II – out now!

Our brand new Christmas album Yule Songs vol. II is officially released today! You can purchase your copy right now from Amazon UK (physical CD), iTunes (digital), and listen on Spotify, Deezer, Google Play, Rdio and Tidal.

Following our Yule Songs EP in 2011, the full album entitled Yule Songs vol. II is a wintry mix of well-known carols, reimagined classics and brand new originals exploring the magic, mystery and mayhem of the festive season. One of these originals, The Thaw, features the incredible vocals of jazz legend Kurt Elling, whom we're honoured to be sharing a stage with at Cadogan Hall next week. (Ed recently blogged about the incredible experience of hearing Kurt sing his song – check it out.)

We're so excited for you to hear the album, and we'll be officially launching it with a London show at The Forge Camden on 29 November. It's a beautiful, intimate venue and tickets are just £10, so if you're anywhere near London we're fully expecting to see you there! Then in December we're touring the new material in the eastern USA and Russia – see the shows page for details.

Don't fight it... let the Christmasiness commence!


ForWard: the programme

Ward Swingle would have turned 88 today, and we really can't imagine a better way to celebrate the man and his music than Saturday night's concert. It was an extraordinary evening of song, laughter and tears. To share a stage with almost 40 former Swingles, and hear them sing his brilliant arrangements with such panache, really brought home how privileged we are to carry Ward's legacy forward.

In an otherwise pretty perfect evening, some delivery company incompetence meant that the programmes we'd had printed never made it to the venue. So here, in digital form, is the design. We'll be rounding up photos, audio and video from Saturday night in due course but for now we hope this serves as a reminder of a very special night.

With love,

The Swingles.