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Swimwear Department’s songs are all inspired by their name.
When the band shot its 2018 Tiny Desk Contest entry in a pool, NPR’s Marissa Lorusso
called the Houston four-piece’s obsessive commitment to only writing songs about swimming
holes and shopping malls “delightfully on-brand.”

Swimwear Department’s frenetic live shows feature crowd-sourced backing vocals and dance
contests. Frontman Matt Graham dreamt of these shows when began writing for the project in
Summer 2017.

“I wanted to make music people could dance to,” says Graham, “I wanted every song to have
at least one part where everybody gets to sing. I wanted it to be fun, but uh, I never imagined
it would be this fun.”

The music features vintage beats and basslines that would be at home in Motown and
surf-rock tunes, and Jeremy Grisbee (keys) uses organ sounds reminiscent of 1960s psych
rock. Graham’s talk-singing and screams evoke early punk a la Lux Interior.
The least conventional element of the band’s sound is Ned Gayle’s over-driven bass guitar.
Gayle often pulls double duty, alternating between driving basslines and leadlines usually
reserved for a guitarist.

Swimwear Department’s debut album, Turn Over! Go Under!, is set for release in late July,
2018. The album and the live show are both peppered with moments of sincere nostalgia for
bygone summer swims and cool mall strolls. Swimwear Department reminds listeners that
everything changes, but there’s always fun to be had.

Houston Drummer, Gus Alvarado, produced the album, often says of the band, “It’s funny, but
it’s no joke.”

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