Featuring members of the popular, now-defunct Portland group Dirty Martini, Swan Sovereign plays taut, guitar-based indie pop, mixing ’60s girl-group harmonies with the sound of ’90s-era rock bands like Throwing Muses, Belly and The Breeders.
“The music of Dirty Martini was gloomy, introspective and rain-soaked, like April in Portland,” says Swan Sovereign drummer Stephanie Schneiderman, adding, somewhat cryptically, “Swan Sovereign is more like a dance party on a sunny day in Antarctica — bright and blinding with snowballs flying and a bit of blood on the ice from playing too rough. It’s a much more raw, rocking sound, and we’re really proud of it.”
Swan Sovereign, Schneiderman notes, allows each member to step outside their comfort zone while expanding on each individual’s impressive resume of accomplishments. Most notably, bassist Christine McKinley recently published the book Physics for Rock Stars, and Schneiderman produced a humanitarian concert series benefiting refugees in northern Uganda.
“Yes, we absolutely are doing very different things together than what we would each do solo,” Schneiderman says. “Where we meet in the middle musically pulls directly from each of our own sensibilities.” She continues, “Our songs are true collaborations and represent a sound that is new to each of us. That’s what makes it so exciting.”
Schneiderman says she’s eager to return to Eugene with her new band. “We are so looking forward to seeing Dirty Martini fans at the show and introducing Swan Sovereign to them,” she says. “Our music will make you feel brave and tough. You will want to run out in the street and fight crime with your bare hands.”
Swan Sovereign plays with Eugene’s Phoebe Blume 8 pm Friday, Sept. 12, at Cozmic; $11.50 adv., $13 door.