This is the opposite of an overnight success. In keeping with a modern world there is no story of a massive radio hit. No magic record contract signed to a major label to bring the music to the masses, no shout outs from friends in the biz, none of that. That’s not to say that Current Swell has been bereft of accomplishments, but sometimes a band flies under the radar until it can no longer be ignored.
Case in point. Current Swell began with humble roots, as friends playing in backyards, at parties, on couches, on beaches, and in any situation that allowed for guitars to be strummed casually. Finding their Kafka moment, they found themselves on stages playing to packed clubs, in vans, planes, at major festivals, and all over the world, headlining concerts and making music for new and old fans. Touring Canada, Australia and the USA, and playing shows with acts like Xavier Rudd, Bedouin Soundclash, K-OS, K'Naan, Ron Sexsmith and even the Beach Boys, opened them up to new and enthusiastic audiences. Appearances at Ottawa Bluesfest, the 2010 Olympics, Junofest, Rifflandia, Salmon Arm Roots and Blues, and headlining Canada Day for 40,000 people at the BC Legislature continued their momentum. But this did not happen overnight.
In the strangest of places. No one was more surprised than the band when their lo-fi release “So I Say” became an underground classic among young people from all corners of the world. Scott Stanton of Current Swell remembers a story of when a friend on a surf trip in Bali, Indonesia, found a copy of the debut album in a hostel. Another story tells of the band stumbling across legions of web recordings made by Brazilian fans covering Swell songs, and even one group of keen fans doing their own version of the entire “Young and Able” video, with the scenes being re-shot in Brazil rather than Canada.
And so it goes. "Trust Us Now" was supported by word of mouth, relentless touring and a viral online fan base. The band's first release with national distribution, “Protect Your Own”, was also the first to show up on industry radar, with national radio-play and a popular music video. By this point the band had become a festival mainstay, with artistic directors recognizing both the bands rampant fan base and the fervor they created with performances. Tours through the U.S. and sold out ticketed shows confirmed the bands suspicions that word had spread more than they knew.
Long Time Ago. The band began the long process of producing their latest LP “Long Time Ago” with the feeling that something special was going on. With a renewed work ethic, they focused intensely on songwriting and execution and set their standards high, recording and re-recording songs until they felt each track had been realized to its fullest. This is not a band looking to adapt to a radio format or searching for the catchiest hook, this is about respecting the process and giving the songs and music what they need. Again, this is a modern world. Is there any other way? And so…
Take note. This is not just a fan base. This is a movement, and when the overnight success stories find that their fifteen minutes are up and the flavor of the month fans have moved on, Current Swell will continue recording and performing to legions of grass-roots aficionados that aren't going anywhere anytime soon. While other bands might sport the label "indie", this is a band that has made their mark independently in the truest sense. This music is listener supported.