New Richard Swift – “Lady Day”

Though I mostly read Salon for the comics and the occasional article by Farhad Manjoo, they pick some good music from time to time.

Like today, when they directed me to Richard Swift, who sounds almost exactly like I’d hoped Michael Penn would sound before I heard his album. For those of you who don’t know what I wanted Michael Penn to sound like, Swift reminds me of Rick Wright’s songs from before Roger Waters took over Pink Floyd, or as Salon says:

This is the surprise debut of the year for me, a beautifully written and arranged collection of dreamy pop songs, sung in a flat-out gorgeous voice that splits the difference between Rufus Wainwright and Ron Sexsmith. Richard Swift’s writing also shares something with those two, but Sexsmith, for all his songcraft, can’t write melodies like this, and with Wainwright disappearing into the operatic ether, Swift seems to be a far better bet for lovely Tin Pan Alley fantasias like “Lady Day.”

Here’s “Lady Day,” from the album The Novelist/Walking Without Effort (released on Secretly Canadian, just like Antony and the Johnsons):

Richard Swift – “Lady Day” (MP3)

bonus:

Richard Swift – “As I Go” (MP3)