Recording information: Sound Of Music, Richmond, VA.
Photographer: Melissa Swingle.
With one of music's most distinct drawls, Melissa Swingle gives Trailer Bride an advantage over many of the quartet's alt-country contemporaries. The Chapel Hill, NC-based band may play sultry, setting-sun two-steps and ballads with the best of 'em, but it's Swingle's dry and hypnotic voice that makes the band's High Seas so utterly compelling and original. As she plods through creepy-crawly moments in songs about Mae West's ghost, dancing outlaws, and rough 'n' tumble seas, the guitarist/banjo/saw player manages to sound bored with life without ever coming off as self-pitying or tear-in-my-beer depressed. Instead, each song sounds like Swingle is blankly taking inventory of her surroundings and her life as the days pass by. Still, there are moments where her emotions seep through the apathy. On the heart-aching "Bird Feet Feelings," for instance, she realizes that "Without love there's only heartbreak to follow." It's one of her -- and her band's -- finest moments to date, hinting at even more mesmerizing moments to come. ~ Jimmy Draper
Magnet (9-10/01, pp.120-1) - "...Fun...showcasing Swingle's unique talent for whistling in the dark..."
No Depression (7-8/01, pp.121-2) - "...A spooky, swampy triumph....unsettling and addictive with each subsequent spin..."