Nominated for Indie-Music.com's Top 25 New & Notable Award!
Minnie Cho | lead vocals, guitar
Ryan D. Lee | lead guitar
Kristy Knight | bass, vocals
Gary Ciuzio | drums, vocals
Recognized for their moody melodies, lush vocals and edgy guitars, Swoon’s sensibilities ring true on their sophomore album, Backwards & Forwards. Laced with poetic yet disarmingly potent lyrics, their catchy melodies have staying power, or as one fan put it, “Seems every song leaves you singing it back to yourself afterwards.”
While songwriter and frontperson Minnie Cho turns provocative phrases that are often at odds with the music, her sweet sultry voice and layered harmonies counterbalance grungy guitars and a driving rhythm section. Neither predictably pretty nor your standard melancholy, Swoon harnesses an underground sound that is distinctly their own.
Backwards & Forwards was released in February 2011 with college radio promotion by Tinderbox. A cover of the title track recorded by Chris Collingwood of Fountains of Wayne can be found with a blog post about it at www.myspace.com/chriscollingwood. More news about Swoon can be found at www.swoontheband.com.
“I really dug [Backwards & Forwards] and wished I had written the album’s title track myself.”
~ Chris Collingwood, Fountains of Wayne
“The songs are so melodic, polished and just plain enjoyable!”
~ Eugene Foley, Foley Entertainment, Music Industry Consultants
“New York quartet Swoon make catchy pop-rock tunes inspired by ’90s indie and alternative.
~ WLUR Radio Blogspot
"[Swoon is] a band that's my kind of band, a simple four-piece band that does some deep cerebral kind of rock songs led by a woman named Minnie Cho. They have good catchy melodies, very strong lyrics. The band has serious credits and a rather serious...accessible sound. What a great sound they have."
~ Dan Herman, Radio Crystal Blue, Novus Ordo 3/6/11 Podcast
“Swoon have a nice brooding pop sound...Minnie Cho’s understated voice is, like the melodies, pleasing and delicate, but with an intriguing edge....a nice counterbalance to the grungy guitars”
~ Neil Diamond, Mr. Neil’s Blog, Swoon at The National Underground
Based in Brooklyn, Swoon was founded in 2006. With a background in fine art, Minnie set aside drawing and painting one summer eve and started writing songs. After weeks of writing without an instrument, she finally bought a guitar and taught herself to play. Eventually, she was joined by Matt Rhoden on lead guitar, Chris Aston on bass, and Romeo Dubois on drums to form what has always been a true creative collaboration.
Swoon was discovered by legendary producer, Godfrey Diamond, when he heard a couple of rough mp3s through a drummer who had auditioned for them. Their moody, melody-driven sound is evident on their debut cd, Departures, which was produced, engineered and mixed by Diamond and released in 2008. Kristy Knight, Gary Ciuzio and Ryan D. Lee have since joined the line up.
Minnie Cho | Although Minnie never formally studied music, her childhood in the Rochester area was shaped by playing classical piano and clarinet, singing in chorus and a capella ensemble, and performing in musicals. She was also inordinately influenced by the sensibilities of Chris Collingwood and later Adam Schlesinger, both of Fountains of Wayne, while attending Williams College. Endearingly referred to by her bandmates as "our fearless leader" and "an idiot savant" for seemingly both knowing and not knowing at all what she's doing, Minnie is the songwriter, vision and voice behind Swoon.
Ryan D. Lee | Born and raised in the Chicago area, Ryan began playing music at a very young age. He got his first guitar when he was 10 in an effort to become the next Kurt Cobain. In high school, he played in various bands, musicals and jazz ensembles, culminating in a performance in the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra’s Essentially Ellington Festival in 2003 with the St. Charles East Jazz Workshop. Ryan played in several bands around Chicago, including Mr. Osborne and Dirty Faces. He graduated from the University of Missouri in 2008 with a degree in Cultural Geography. After taking a year to travel and teach in South America, he now lives in NYC where he has played with the Juvenals and is recording his solo project in his home studio. Now joining Swoon's ranks on lead guitar, Ryan's versatile talents are sure to go far in rocking out the new album.
Kristy Knight | Raised in Chicago and Texas, Kristy Knight majored in music after receiving a full scholarship to McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana at 17. She continued her studies in Austin, where she played flute in a semi-professional chamber music ensemble and bought her first bass guitar at a yard sale and began to play. Formerly a percussionist for The Muleskinners with the infamous punk band producer, Spot, on the “fidola” and an all-star cast of upright bass players, Kristy was also a percussionist and vocalist with The Horsies. In 1994, she toured with the Non Pareils and the Godrays while pursuing her MFA at RISD then became the bass player and back-up singer in a nine-piece funk band called the Vigilante Brothers in Brooklyn. Kristy first joined Swoon on backing vocals, keyboard and percussion before taking on the role of bass player.
Gary Ciuzio | Born and raised in Brooklyn, Gary Ciuzio studied drums, guitar and piano nurtured in 60s pop and 70s rock. He went on to study drums and music theory at Berklee School of Music and New York University. In 1982, Gary launched Slope Sound with a Tascam four-track reel-to-reel and wrote, arranged and recorded with the power-pop band, The Singles. He has worked as a studio drummer and recording engineer at many NYC studios with artists such as Lenny Kravitz, Billy Joel, Toshi Reagon, Lou Gramm of Foreigner, and Donald Fagen. Awarded honorable mention for Best Pop Song from the Songwriters Guild, Gary has written commercial music for radio and television and worked as a voice-over artist. He has been the drummer and a backing vocalist for Swoon since he joined the band.
PREVIOUS BAND MEMBERS
Matt Rhoden | Formerly of Who Hit John and Luke Duke, Matt Rhoden is a guitarist and songwriter living in Brooklyn. He recently recorded with the Churchills at Near Studio with Bart Schoudel (Churchills, Ruling Party) on vocals and Ron Haney (Churchills, Ruling Party, Alicia Keys) on guitar. With the Churchills, Matt has co-written songs with Near Records artist, Jillian Rhys. Matt recently signed a deal with licensing company, Imaginary Friends Music Partners, who will be pitching his music for use in television and film. Matt's song Half Light, Half Sound (co-written with the Churchills) was a Top Five finalist for the November '09 Song of the Year and a Top Ten finalist in the Indie International Song Contest. Matt was one of the founding members of Swoon whose distinctive sensibilities have largely defined their sound from inception and can be heard on both album recordings.
Chris Aston | bass, vocals
Romeo Dubois | drums, vocals